Rajahmundry: The historical city of Rajahmundry is struggling to cater to the needs of the people as it is still going by master plan designed in the year 1975 and the new master plan, which was formulated, is still waiting for the final approval of the State government. 

A view of Rajahmundry

The bifurcation of the State has delayed the process of the implementation of the new master plan and the government is expected to release GO in connection with the master plan very soon. 

Already 13 villages within radius of five km have been merged into the Municipal Corporation of Rajahmundry in order to create the Greater Rajahmundry. But the aspects placed in the draft of the new master plan are not easy to get implementation. The master plan has been designed to cater the needs of the population of the year 2031.   

As per the new master plan, the area of Greater Rajahmundry will be expanded from 44.5 square km to 162.83 square km as 13 villages have been merged and the number of wards will be increased from 50 to more than 70. The population figure will reach 5.92 lakh from 3.41 lakh, which is the present population. The number of general hospitals will increase three from one and eight new emergency medical centers will arrive and eight new polyclinics will be set up.

As far as the education is concerned, the number of primary schools should reach 320, the number of high schools will reach 106 and 10 junior colleges and five degree colleges will come up. One vocational college will also be set up. Drainage system in Rajahmundry is very old and is in dilapidated state and sewage water frequently mixes into the drinking water pipelines during rainy seasons. The length of the primary drainage pipeline is 630 km and the length of the major drains is 18 km. There is need of three sewage water treatment plants and two sewage water pumps in the city.

Drinking water is another important aspect which has to be addressed. Though the perennial River Godavari is flowing through the city, the authorities are failing to cater to the needs of the people. The municipal corporation is able to supply only 65 million litres per day (MLD) against the demand of 85 MLD.  As per the estimations, 125 MLD of water is needed to quench the thirst of Greater Rajahmundry people by 2031. There is need for nine reservoirs and three pumping stations to reach the demand.

About of 160 tonnes of garbage is being produced in Rajahmundry everyday and another 80 metric tonnes of garbage will add due to merger of 13 villages. This aspect is also going to be addressed in the new master plan.

Twenty-two junctions have been identified which are going to be developed to regulate the traffic and CC cameras are going to fixed all important places in the city in large scale. Fourteen roads will be expanded as 100 feet roads. 

The master plan has been designed on the lines of mixed use land development. It is estimated that a whopping Rs 1,000 crore is needed for the new master plan in which State and the Centre will contribute 50 percent each. 

Is it possible in the near future to earmark huge sum for Greater Rajahmundry? Rajahmundry is typical high density city and it is not easy to demolish the structures in order to widen roads as most of the constructions were built on encroached lands. There is severe dearth of staff in the municipal corporation. The major hurdle for the development of Rajahmundry is the lack of dedication and commitment from the political leaders. One has to wait and see whether Rajahmundry will be transformed as Greater Rajahmundry or not.  

By:Samson Raj