A view of GVMC
A view of GVMC

 Visakhapatnam: Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is gearing up to vacate people living in the hilly areas owing to heavy rain. The civic body has identified several spots prone to landslides at Gajuwaka, Marripalem, Madhavadhara, Kancharapalem, Ravindranagar and Hanumathawaka junction areas. The residents on the slopes of the hillocks in the city face landslide threat due to the heavy rains.

Once the monsoon rains start the red soil washes out and the boulders fall on the houses. In some incidents some deaths cases were also registered. 

With many migrants in the city, the living space has become a problem and few take shelter on the hill slopes. Some of the influential local leaders are making the activity as a business. They construct houses and sell to the needy at cheaper cost and also are offering them on long lease basis. 

There is good demand for these houses in Gajuwaka, Pendurty, Malkapuram,Madhavadhara, Simhachalam, Ravindranagar and Hanumanthawaka The GVMC also provides good infrastructure by constructing staircase to the houses, ensures drinking water supply and also streetlights. The then GVMC commissioner and present collector Pravin Kumar directed the officials to list the most vulnerable spots to avoid such accidents. 

"Yes, after the two tragic incidents last year in the monsoon season, the GVMC has decided to vacate some of the residents from the places which pose landslide threat. However, the issue has become very sensitive. If they are forcibly vacated, we have to show them an alternative shelter. There will be local protests and political pressure will also be there as the GVMC elections are ahead.

 We are also planning to build retaining walls at some most vulnerable areas. As the issue was link up with the weaker section people, a decision has to be taken after consulting with the elected representatives," a senior official of GVMC said.