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Thotlakonda, Rushikonda Beaches get a facelift

VISAKHAPATNAM: Of the six beaches that have been taken up for development by the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), Thotlakonda would be the first beach to be inaugurated this month followed by Rushikonda. The government has already sanctioned Rs 14.3 crore in the first phase for development and beautification of the six beaches — Sagarnagar, Yendada, Rushikonda, Thotlakonda, Manganmaripeta and Bheemili — and the work is expected to be over by the end of this year.

Done in heritage Buddhism theme, Thotlakonda beach now has open huts or shacks, toilets and changing rooms and cafeteria. Ot is awaiting official inauguration by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Work is now being carried out at a brisk pace at Rushikonda where green lawns and plantation, containers for water sports equipment, food courts, cultural complex with handicraft stalls, open air amphitheatre and changing rooms are being readied and expected to be completed by June.

Speaking about the project, G Srinivas Murthy, consultant architect handling the APTDC project, said, “Till Bheemili, we are constructing four-lane roads. For better access to these beaches and for proper maintenance, we are also demarcating the pathways and sitting area. Each of the six public beaches would be based on different concepts. At Rushikonda, the existing shops at the entrance would be relocated to a different site at one side of the beach temple and another 36 stalls are to come up. Besides, we have developed lawns for visitors to sit and relax. At Bheemili, since there’s a large fishermen’s community, we are providing fishing deck to anchor the fishing boats and have designed a park near the ancient structure of Galimeda or Tower of Wind. A boundary wall, resembling a fort like structure would be built that would render a historical aura to the erstwhile Dutch settlement.”

“At the beaches, most structures are made of thatched roofs and natural materials such a trunks of palm trees and bamboo have been used for construction. Designs of the other three beaches are also ready and hopefully by the end of 2016 all the six beaches can be thrown open to the public,” Murthy added.

According to APTDC officials, so far the government has sanctioned Rs 14.3 crore for the beaches, Rs 3.4 crore for Rushikonda (the estimated cost of developing Rushikonda is Rs 8 crore) , Rs 3 crore for Bheemili and Rs 2 crore each for Sagarnagar, Yendada, Thotlakonda and Manganmaripeta. In the second phase, Rushikonda and Bheemili are to get Rs 3 crore each.

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