Govt Declares Vijayawada A Metropolitan City
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh government had declared Vijayawada a metropolitan city merging several of the gram panchayats on the outskirts. This would help the government get financial clearances for its proposed mega project – Metro rail.
Being the temporary capital of the State as Amaravati is in the making, the government had taken up several plans to develop Vijayawada city on the national standards. Metro rail is one such plan, though the city is too small for the project, in terms of its viability. The government had proposed two corridors for the project each running for 12 kilometers from the originate station at the Pundit Nehru Bus Station. The metro trains would travel for 12 kilometers on Bandar Road up to Kanuru and Eluru Road up to Nidamanuru. The project also proposed its base station at Nidamanuru where the district administration is having tough time to acquire the agriculture lands.
The government had brought the gram panchats of Gollapudi on Hyderabad route, Ambapuram, Jakkampudi, Pathapadu and Nunna on Nuzvid route, Ramavarappadu, Prasadampadu, Enikepadu, Nidamanuru, Done Athkuru, Gudavalli, Kesarapalli, Buddhavaram and Gannavaram on Eluru route, Yanamalakudur, Kanuru, Tadigadapa, Poranki and Penamaluru on Machilipatnam route, under the Vijayawada city limits. The area and the population of these gram panchayats merged with Vijayawada Municipal Corporation would make the city a Metropolitan city, the official said. The 61.9 square km city with a population of 10.33 lakh as per 2011 census would now have 160 square km with an estimated population of 18 lakh.
There have been proposals to merge these gram panchayats with the city for more than two decades. Similar proposals were made in 1990s when Dr Jandhyala Shankar was the Mayor. Dr Shankar had greater plans for the inclusion of inclusion of villages up to Ibrahimpatnam on Hyderabad route, up to Kankipadu on Machilipatnam route, Gannavaram on Eluru route and Mangalagiri on Guntur side to make Vijayawada a greater city. However, they were shelved for different reasons. Another proposal was made in early 2000s to merge villages adjacent to the city which was also opposed by the political parties.
Now, in the changed scenario with the city serving as the base of the temporary capital, the Vijayawada Municipal Commissioner G Veerapandian and the Amaravati Metro Rail Project managing director, Ramakrishna Reddy have written to the government in 2015 to merge the gram panchayats with the city. Finally the government had considered the request and declared the merger of these villages with the city.
As the Amaravati Metro Rail Project has plans to expand the metro rail in the second phase to Gollapudi and Gannavaram, the expansion of the city limits would come in handy for the government to execute the project without much difficulty.