Infrastructure development key poll issue in Kadapa

Due to dearth of funds for decade-old projects, Buggavanka retaining wall and underground drainage system still remain incomplete

Published: 26th February 2021 10:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2021 10:01 AM   |  A+A-

Most of low-lying areas including Ravindra Nagar bore the brunt of floods in November last when Buggavanka was in spate.

Most of low-lying areas including Ravindra Nagar bore the brunt of floods in November last when Buggavanka was in spate. | Express

Express News Service

KADAPA: November last year, people in low-lying areas near River Buggavanka in Kadapa had a nightmarish experience when their household articles were floated in the knee-high floodwater. Heavy rains under the influence of Cyclone Nivar lashed the city and the water of swollen Buggavanka entered the residential localities in low-lying areas. 

People blamed the civic authorities for not completing the infrastructure development works including Buggavanka retaining wall and underground drainage system. Lack of funds to the decade-old projects is said to be the main reason. These issues are likely to be in the minds of people when they are going to the polling booths to exercise their franchise.

For the third time, Kadapa Municipal Corporation (KMC) is going for elections on March 10 after it was formed in 2004. Though the tenure of the previously elected council ended in 2019, elections were not held for unspecified reasons. Kadapa, one of the oldest municipalities, though was upgraded into a municipal corporation 16 years ago, the development of the city did not happen on expected lines due to political reasons. 

The city is plagued with a plethora of infrastructure problems, that is giving a hard time to the denizens. Every week there are complaints galore at the KMC office for drainage, road or drinking water problems. The KMC had its first mayor from the Congress and second from the YSRC. The TDP which suffered a defeat on the last two occasions, might be going the same way as it has fielded candidates for only half of the divisions of the KMC. On the other hand, the YSRC, which is in upbeat mood with nearly 90 per cent of the candidates supported by it winning the panchayat elections in the district, is confident of retaining the KMC. 

Brief history of Kadapa 

One of the oldest cities in Andhra Pradesh, Kadapa, which was spread over 6.84 sq km with a population of 16,428, was made a municipality in 1868. Since then, its population has been increasing steadily. In 1868, Kadapa was upgraded into Grade-III municipality and in 1953, after Independence, it was upgraded into Grade-II municipality. In 1988, it became Selection Grade municipality and later as Special Grade municipality. 

In 2004, when YS Rajasekhara Reddy, a native of Kadapa district, became Chief Minister, proposals for upgrading Kadapa into municipal corporation were pursued and on November 17, 2004, it was made Kadapa Municipal Corporation with 91.05 sq km area. In 2006, seven surrounding village panchayats were merged with the KMC and the area of the civic body has increased to 164.089 sq km.  As per 2001 census, the population of KMC was 2,87,093 and in 2011 census, the population increased to 3,44,893 and now in 2021, it is estimated that the KMC has a population of around 4.17 lakh. The city has 82,530 houses, 67 multi-storeyed buildings, 220 notified slums and 45,6623 tap connections.

Projects and reasons for lack of progress 

When Kadapa became a municipal corporation, the then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy chalked out a comprehensive plan for the development of the city. Apart from infrastructure development, beautification of Buggavanka, high-level bridges, underground drainage system, road expansion, RIMS, dental hospital, sports school, Yogi Vemana University, new Collectorate, ZP Meeting Hall and R&B Guest House were taken up and `1,200 crore was sanctioned.

However, after the demise of YSR in a chopper crash in 2009, the development of KMC got stalled and in 2014 after the State bifurcation, though the YSRC bagged the KMC, with the TDP in power, there was no fund flow to the development projects in the city. 

Buggavanka, often described as bane of Kadapa, resulted in floods claiming several lives in the past. So far, 80% per cent of Buggavanka modernisation works have been completed in 10 years and the latest floodsonce again brought to the fore the need for retaining wall.


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