‘Development plans along the coast could prove to be dangerous’
Former secretary to the Union Government E.A.S. Sarma has raised a few concerns on the new Master Plan, which has been drafted by the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA), and placed in the public domain for objections and suggestions.
He said that the VMRDA officials should recognise 30.51 sq km in the Kambalakonda region, which includes 14 villages and two mandals, as eco-sensitive zone as per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notification and see the man-made Sambhuvanipalem reservoir be included under water body in the plan. “In the previous master plan it was missed out,” he said.
He said that in the previous master plan it was pointed out that the storage capacity of drinking water reservoirs such as Mehadrigedda, Mudasarlova, Thatipudi and Gambheeram has sunk largely due to the coming up of illegal layouts. “This aspect should be given prominence in the new plan,” he said.
Mr. Sarma raised concern on the violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, both in the previous and the present draft master plan. The proposed wide road corridor from Vizag to Bheemunipatnam violates the norms and this should be rectified, he added. He said that development plans along the coast could prove to be dangerous keeping in mind global warming due to climate change. There is enough study to suggest that the rise in ocean temperature, would lead to rise in ocean water levels. Keeping this in mind, Boston in the USA has already started taking measures, he said.
The former bureaucrat also raised concerns over protection of archaeological and heritage sites, as development plans appear to encroach the norms.
Mr. Sarma suggested that proposed slum development should be taken up in-situ instead of uprooting the entire community and shifting them to a faraway place, under the housing schemes. This would impact their daily livelihood, he said.
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