Vijayawada: Cleaner and wider roads with murals wherever possible, illuminated landmarks give visitors a pleasant surprise. People re-visiting the city now, after at least a six-month gap, are being taken by surprise at the way it has transformed over the past year in 2016.
Starting from the massively refurbished Pundit Nehru Bus Station to the luminous Prakasam Barrage, the city has witnessed a lot of changes that not only fascinate the regular visitors but also the citizens of the city.
“Open culture, night life, nice access road to the airport, the lighting on the Prakasam Barrage and all are great,” says Jitendra Chowdary, vice-president, Citi Bank, New York and a native of the capital region. Mr. Jitendra was here a year ago and is currently on a trip to hometown.
Krishna Pushkaralu was one opportunity from which the city reaped not just funds for development but also the collective effort of youngsters from various colleges who literally changed the face of M.G. Road with murals and paintings under ‘Transformed Vijayawada’ campaign.
About 56 roads that craved for development for more than a decade finally saw expansion and black-topping just ahead of the Pushkaralu in 2016. During the same period, parts of One town that were congested for decades have been decongested with many structures including temples, churches and mosques being razed either in full or partially. The Prakasam Barrage and ghats which underwent development are the much-talked about attractions even today.
“There is a lot of change in the city and it can be witnessed at every nook and corner. In 2015 too a lot happened, but this year in 2016 change is evident be it in the form of commercial establishments or development of road infrastructure,” opines E. Anil Babu, software engineer from the city who works in Bengaluru.
The road infrastructure in and around the city has also been improved with the opening of long pending Inner Ring Road and expansion of NH near the Kanakadurga temple. Though the Kanakadurga flyover works were not completed as announced by the government, the expansion of the road came as a relief. The expansion of the road at Bharathi Nagar, a colony, stands testimony to the transformation of the city. A hotel is coming up at the entrance of the road.
Though the works of Pinnamaneni Polyclinic road are still underway, it got wider as structures on one side were demolished. The road will feature a cycling track on one side. The local body also took up many initiatives to keep the city and arterial roads clean. It has set up bins all over and deployed sanitation personnel to supervise the roads and ensure they remain clean always. The city was also declared Open Defecation-Free. The civic body made an attempt to tackle the problem of stink due to open urination at many areas.
On the other hand, certain things remained unchanged and even became worse. The lack of parking spaces, increasing influx of cars and others made traffic issues worse.
However, the initiatives of the city traffic police wing, which altered road junctions, pathways and bus bays, proved useful to reduce traffic jams.
“Increased traffic and equal level of lack of traffic awareness is worsening the situation,” Mr. Jitendra opines.