KAKINADA: The decision of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) to collect fee for entry to Kakinada Beach Front Arcade during Sankranti festival has raised several eyebrows. The entry fee came into effect from Monday.
The beach front was developed at a cost of Rs 350 crore by the government. The facility for laser show, a glass bridge, resorts etc., are part of the infrastructure developed at the beach. However, the APTDC’s move to collect entry fee has come in for criticism from various sections. The CPM district committee is of the opinion that the beach front is a public place for tourists and said entry should be free for all people.
A ship breaking unit stood where beach front came. The unit which left the beach ravaged due to oil spillage and huge craters left by the incoming ships was removed six year ago following protest from fishermen whose livelihood was affected because of the damage and public in general. The place subsequently attracted a large number of tourists who used to spend quite a lot of time enjoying the beauty of the beach. Seeing this, the Kakinada Municipal Corporation had built a park with cooperation of NFCL and ONGC.
Later, the park was removed following establishment of a deep water port. Following this, local picnickers and tourists headed for the beach where Harita resort stands now.The beach front was inaugurated by deputy CM N China rajappa on September 27 last year. Initially there was no proposal to collect entry fee from public.