MACHILIPATNAM: The ancient port town of Bandar, now known as Machilipatnam, the administrative headquarters of Krishna district, is looking eagerly for the development of the port and upgradation of its status from a municipality to municipal corporation, not only to regain its past glory but also to improve its revenues.
The civic authorities feel that only through development they can prevent the people from migrating to other places in search of livelihood.
Lack of developmental activities and dwindling employment opportunities had earlier made them shift to other places, which saw the town’s population decrease from 1.80 lakh to 1.70 lakh (latest voters’ list).
“We foresee an improvement in the situation with development of the port, which will throw open wide opportunities, direct and indirect employment. Once the opportunities for livelihood increase, we are confident that migration trend will reverse and people will come back. We are also expecting more people to migrate to the town,” A Maruti Diwakar, municipal commissioner of Machilipatnam, says.
With the state government deciding to have the district headquarter towns in the state upgraded to municipal corporation status, the size and population of this ancient port town is expected to increase manifold.
The proposal is to merge Pedana municipality, located 7 km from Machilipatnam with it along with another 15 revenue villages.
“It will definitely boost the revenues of the town and even before that we have plans to improve revenue collection and also revenue sources,” Diwakar says.
At present, the Machilipatnam civic body earns a revenue of Rs 5.5 crore as against the revenue demand of Rs 7 crore. Efforts are on to address the shortfall and the authorities were successful in collecting Rs 60 lakh in taxes on a single day, a couple of days ago.
Development of the port is expected to improve the revenues of the municipality by Rs 1 crore per annum.
“There are 30 to 35 per cent of unassessed households and we are contemplating to conduct a household survey in April-May and once they are assessed, we are looking at additional revenues from property taxes to the tune of Rs 90 lakh,” municipal commissioner says.
Authorities are also waiting for the new BPS (Building Penalisation Scheme), which is expected to be in place in a couple of months.
A rough estimate put the unauthorised construction in Machilipatnam to be around 10 per cent and once BPS is implemented, the civic body expects to net a revenue up to Rs 5 crore.