Vijayawada Municipal Corporation gives facelift to neglected Gandhi Hill

Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivas, Municipal Commissioner Prasanna Venkatesh enjoy heritage train ride on Gandhi Hill in Vijayawada on Saturday night
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Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivas, Municipal Commissioner Prasanna Venkatesh enjoy heritage train ride on Gandhi Hill in Vijayawada on Saturday night

Highlights

The civic body allocates Rs 2 crore for the restoration of heritage toy train, planetarium and development of greenery etc for the recreation of children

Vijayawada: The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation has taken initiative to give facelift to the historical monument, the Gandhi Hill by restoring heritage train and renovating the play zone for kids.

The VMC allocated Rs 2 crore for restoration of heritage toy train, planetarium, development of greenery and playing equipment for the recreation of children. Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivas on Saturday inaugurated the renovated heritage train and play zone.

Speaking on the occasion, Velampalli said Gandhi Hill will be developed as an important tourist centre in Vijayawada city. He said VMC Commissioner Prasanna Venkatesh has taken special initiative to develop Gandhi Hill and allocated funds for it. Gandhi Hill has historical significance and had been popular attraction in the city since 1960.

Municipal Commissioner Prasanna Venkatesh said the heritage train was renovated and restored and hoped the visitors would enjoy the train ride. The heritage train was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sastry in 1965. He said planetarium, lighting and sound system, Gandhi Library would be restored very soon.

Mayor R Bhagyalakshmi, corporators, VMC officials and YSRCP leaders participated in the event on Gandhi Hill.

Gandhi Hill is one of the important tourist places in Vijayawada city. But it was grossly neglected during the last one decade. Both the TDP and YSRCP governments neglected its development. The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation took over its maintenance from Gandhi Hill Foundation about one year ago and decided to give a facelift.

A 52-ft tall giant Gandhi Sthupa was installed on Gandhi Hill and it was developed as Gandhi memorial in the early 1960.

Gandhi Sthupa was installed as a mark of respect to Gandhiji and it was unveiled in 1968 by former president of India Dr Zakir Hussain. Gandhi Hill was developed along with six places in the country as Gandhi memorials after Independence.

The importance of Gandhi Hill gradually faded away since 2000 and it lost the glory in the subsequent years. When film actor Chiranjeevi was the Union Minister for Tourism, he announced that Rs 5 crore would be sanctioned for the development of Gandhi Hill.

But he failed to fulfil his promise and the Gandhi Hill remained in the state of neglect for nearly two decades. With renovation and addition of new attractions, the place is expected to become once more a tourist spot in the city.

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