VISAKHAPATNAM: From the hilly terrain, age-old trees to individual bungalows and apartments, Daspalla Hills is one of the posh localities in the city. However, people residing in the area are facing problems while commuting due to the damaged roads.
Adding to the woes, petrol theft from vehicles has become common in the area due to lack of surveillance and throwing of garbage in the open areas behind the hills still remains a cause of concern.
The road from Daspalla hills connecting Nowroji Road has been blocked for the last nine months, the reason being widening of a small stretch of the road. Since it is a hilly area, residents say that the road is very steep making it difficult to apprehend the vehicles coming from the other side.
“Unless the driver honks, it is difficult to know about the vehicles coming on this steep road. This narrow road has become an accident-prone area and we often advice people to drive slow,” said a security guard sitting under the hot sun outside a building.
Since it is a narrow road with avenue trees, there is little chance for two-way traffic. Hence, the civic authorities decided to widen the road and reduce the slope of the up road by 1-2 meters. So the trees have been uprooted, the rocks on either side of the road uprooted but the road has not yet been relaid. Commuters need to take the long route to reach their destination.
According to Preksha Dassani, a lecturer in Bullayya College, “The road that has been blocked is a connecting road to not only one, but many junctions of the city. Most of us use this road to reach Siripuram or Ramnagar which are in the heart of the city. For the past eight months, we have to travel round about way to reach our destination which is time and energy consuming.”
GVMC executive engineer A Mahesh said, “Funds were sanctioned only for removing the rock and hence the work did not progress. The clearing of debris will be done within a week and a request will also be made for a sanction for relaying roads.”
Taking the other route also does not seem to work out because the road from the Daspalla Hills leading to Pandimetta Junction has also been blocked due to the ongoing works for the last one month. This road leads to RK Beach and Zilla Parishad junction. With two roads being blocked, commuters say that they have a tough time.
“The water supply line was interfering with the culvert in Pandimetta Junction and hence we are correcting it. The reconstruction of the culvert will be completed in 2-3 days,” added the EE.
Petrol theft has become very common in this area. Even after frequent complaints to the police officials, there seems to be no solution to the problem. “A few months ago, petrol was stolen from many bikes of Jyothi Residency on a single day. A few days ago, petrol theft was reported by another owner of Royal Enfield,” said a resident.
She also added that after complaining, the police officials said that regular patrolling will be done and a vigil will be kept on robbers in the area. But as of now there is no such patrolling and petrol theft continues.
Parents of Shyla Kurma have been residing in Daspalla Hills for the last 40 years and she herself has been residing in the same colony for 20 years now. She expressed, “Initially this area was a very peaceful place to live in and there were hardly any issues. Due to rapid urbanisation, things have changed now. The presence of Circuit House (Governor’s bungalow) in the vicinity has made the roads and the entire area look beautiful. But what matters is that when events are held, the trash is thrown behind on the hills, making it a dumping ground.”
She also added that there is a lot of water that flows off when water is pumped from the tanks to the apartments. However, GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan told Express that the civic authorities would ensure that garbage is not dumped on the hills and a check will be kept on a regular basis.