ANDHRA PRADESH

VGTM-UDA launches beautification drive

VIJAYAWADA, FEB. 26. The Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Mangalagiri-Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA), has embarked on a major exercise to beautify the city and also create infrastructure in view of the ensuing Krishna Pushkarams.

Works on the flyover near Kaleswara Rao Market are already underway and the Chairperson of the UDA, Kolli Sarada, is confident that the Rs. 12.42-crore project will be completed by July.

The 640-metre flyover has a carriageway of 7.5 metres to facilitate the passage of two vehicles in the opposite directions. The gestation period is eight months. It passes over two canals, a railway bridge, Canal Road and descends beyond the busy Kaleswara Rao Market.

Latest technology was being used to complete the project at the earliest, Dr. Sarada told The Hindu. The UDA has also taken up beautification of the Bandar Canal bund, spread along the canal form `Kanaka Durgamma Varadhi' to Krishna Lanka area. One stretch of the bund would have an ornamental grill and a compound wall would be built at a cost of Rs. 23 lakhs. The first stretch covers a length of 350 metres. The UDA spent Rs. 15 lakhs for developing greenery on the two-km bund and the same facility would be extended till the rear side of the APSRTC bus station.

The city's garbage dump has been developed as Pushkaranagar with greenery at the NH crossroads. The UDA, which had widened the busy Eluru Road, paid compensation to the tune of Rs. 5 crores to those who had lost their property in the road widening.

Dr. Sarada said the UDA was developing a central divider and putting up streetlights up to Chuttugunta and the work was nearing completion. It was sharing 50 per cent cost of the Rs. 3 crores being spent for the development of Pantakaluva Road, while the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the MPLAD funds would account for the remaining amount.

On the Sambamurthy Road stretch, the UDA raised greenery and built a compound wall along the Eluru Canal at a cost of Rs. 10 lakhs. Infrastructure, including roads and drains and common facilities like school buildings, urban health centres and a community hall, at a cost of Rs. 6 crores, was developed at Singh Nagar where 8,000 houses were being built by the Andhra Pradesh Housing Corporation (APHC) under the Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY) scheme. The street lighting and laying of water pipeline to the colony would be taken up by the VMC, she said. A massive trucks-and-goods terminal was being built at Ibrahimpatnam at a cost of Rs. 30 crores with public-private participation with a view to easing traffic congestion in the city, particularly in the One Town area. The facility would have space for 400 trucks and 600 shops, including lorry-booking offices and storage godowns.

The UDA has been working towards creating facilities like a computer centre, telephones, water supply, jubilee petrol bunk, banks, dispensary and dormitory, all under one roof. Dr. Sarada said this would be the first of its kind in the country.