Open lands breed mosquitoes
Despite the government declaring a war on mosquitoes with ‘Domalapai Dandayatra’ slogan, thousands of vacant plots in the city have turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The problem of mosquitoes is beyond control in the Old City especially at Vidyadharapuram, Bhavanipuram, Gollapudi and Jakkampudi.
Vijayawada: Despite the government declaring a war on mosquitoes with ‘Domalapai Dandayatra’ slogan, thousands of vacant plots in the city have turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The problem of mosquitoes is beyond control in the Old City especially at Vidyadharapuram, Bhavanipuram, Gollapudi and Jakkampudi.
- Though Vijayawada Municipal Corporation has issued notices several times to the owners of plots to level them to avoid water stagnation, but in vain
- The owners are not taking notices seriously as there are no stringent laws to try them legally
Owners of vacant lands either stay in some other areas of the city or working in foreign countries. They cannot take care of the plots where stagnation of rain water and drain water is common. Though the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has issued notices several times to level the plots and avoid water stagnation, but in vain. The obvious reason is no stringent laws to try them legally and even the penalties are, too, little for the owners.
The vacant plots problem is rampant in these areas for the simple reason that the buyers sell these plots when there will be market for them. A good number of plots are also maintained by realtors. There are many plots which remained left for more than 20 years.
With Vijayawada being declared temporary capital, the prices of plots zoomed and the owners and their care takers have been adopting ‘wait and watch’ stand to sell or keep with them the plots. “The city is developing fast towards Ibrahimpatnam as east side development was already completed.
Gollapudi village has many apartments, probably more apartments than Bhavanipuram and Vidyadharapuram. The reason for this is non-availability of big plots to construct apartments in these areas.
Now, the city is growing towards west beyond Gollapudi. There are many ventures coming up in the days to come between Gollapudi and Ibrahimpatnam. The vacant plots in the city will reap benefits to affluent people who want a plot in future. As the price of land is much more compared to flat at Gollapudi and nearby areas, buyers are reluctant to shell big sums for the vacant plots in the city limits,” says Manohar, a realtor.
Almost all mayors and civic chiefs visited the vacant plots and witnessed the mosquito as well as sanitation problem created by these plots. They have issued orders to deal with owners of these plots with stern measures but to no avail.
The corporation has issued notices for collecting tax on vacant lands from about 15,000 owners. The arrears from these owners of vacant land is about Rs 81 crore. The per cent collection of tax is a meagre 3.45 per cent.
On the other hand, the percentage of collection of property tax, water charges and sewerage charges respectively account for 18.82, 14.44 and 19.94. By these figures, one can assess why the land owners are not responding positively to the notices issued by the VMC. Unless the VMC is given teeth to tackle tough against the vacant land owners, the situation remains unchanged. The loser is government whose ‘Domalapai Dandayatra’ remains a flop show here.
BY Noor Shaik