VISAKHAPATNAM:Finally, the long-pending projects of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) are likely to see the light of day after several years. VUDA officials have identified the priority projects and decided to complete them in a set time frame. Haritha Housing project will be the first to be completed by April 15. A part of the 18-acre YSR Park on the Old Central Jail premises, is also likely to be ready by April-end.
At a Meet-the-Press programme organised by Vizag Journalists Forum Thursday, VUDA vice-chairman T Babu Rao Naidu said that many projects were hanging fire for various reasons ranging from lack of funds to legal disputes. “All the projects will be completed within a year and the officials have prepared an action plan to complete projects within stipulated time,” he added. While the commercial complexes proposed at MVP Colony and Seethammadhara will be finished by May and September respectively, the VUDA Children’s Theatre, under renovation for over seven years now, is likely to be ready by October.
Similarly, the VUDA Telugu Cultural and Heritage Museum, atop Kailasagiri, will be ready by June. On the objections over the alleged violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone norms with regard to Telugu Museum and other constructions atop Kailasagiri, the VUDA vice-chairman clarified that it was a misconception.
To a question, Babu Rao Naidu hinted that VUDA was contemplating increasing/introducing entry fee at various parks and other public properties to reduce the financial burden on it. “Except for the Kursura Submarine Museum, there is a huge gap between the expenditure and the revenue from different parks owned by VUDA. We need to strike a balance to offload the financial burden,” he said. However, he ruled out any exorbitant hike in entry fee.
Babu Rao Naidu said that the urban development authority had over 1,200 acres in its land bank for development of various housing projects. On housing for economically weaker sections, he said that VUDA would work out options to allot houses through lottery.
Meanwhile, identification of unauthorised layouts was under progress and till now, 313 illegal layouts spread over 2,500 acres had been already identified. Notices have been issued to 37 of them and more unauthorised layouts would be served notices shortly.
Babu Rao Naidu confessed to hastily issuing layout approvals by some VUDA officials for disputed properties without proper verification. “We are in the process of identifying such layouts and hence, urge public to purchase plots only after verifying all documents even if the layout is approved by VUDA,” he cautioned.