Visakhapatnam: The seaside village of Pudimadaka will develop into a major tourist destination only if the state government improves the sanitation and provides road connectivity. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has announced that Pudimadaka will be developed into a tourist centre. Locals are elated by the announcement, but they feel that the village will benefit only if the basic infrastructure is improved.
“Pudimadaka is a beautiful location for promoting water sports and eco-friendly tourism. However, open defecation is a major problem in the village. This needs to be addressed on a priority basis,” said Arjilli Dasu, executive secretary of Visakhapatnam District Fishermen Youth Welfare Association.
He said the village does not have sufficient number of toilets. The surroundings of the beach are dirty. Pudimadaka requires an orientation programme on sanitation. Issues like bad sanitation and lack of road connectivity should be addressed on priority basis. Only then the village will turn into an ideal getaway destination. He said the presence of mangroves and a lighthouse adds value to Pudimadaka as a potential tourism destination.
With a population of 15,000 comprising mostly fishermen the village has a single lane road for about half a kilometre from the Pudi village to Pudimadaka. The road needs to be widened.
Pointing out that Pudimadaka has an immense potential for water sports such as surfing, surfer Anudeep Andy said, “It’s a good beach and it is safe for people as it is shallow for quite a distance. The weather is great for about 250-280 days in a year at Pudimadaka and it is outside the city and can be a great crowd-puller.”
He said, “Three beaches of Pudimadaka, Thanthadi and Muthyalampalem are close to each and have the potential for tourism. There’s not much of plastic, which is an advantage.” Referring to open defecation, he said, “Earlier there was a similar problem in Rushikonda too, but once people know that they are going to earn if they keep the place clean, then they’ll keep it clean. Right now, they don’t have the requirement here.”
“The existing beaches of Rushikonda and RK Beach are drawing most of the crowds now. But, if some facilities are developed near Pudimadaka with the involvement of locals, then people can enjoy the drive of around 60 kms to the village on weekends passing through green paddy fields,” observed a city hotelier. He said, “With several industries coming up in that area, it can also turn into an attraction for employees of the companies settling in and around Atchuthapuram and Anakapalli.”