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Plans to improve transport to Bhadrachalam
As people are finding it difficult to reach the temple town, plans are on the anvil to make the journey to Bhadrachalam, the Ayodhya of the South, easier by improving its road, rail and water connectivity. While the Centre is exploring the waterways, the Telangana government is getting ready with a proposal to construct a port near the town on the banks of Godavari.
Bhadrachalam (Khammam): As people are finding it difficult to reach the temple town, plans are on the anvil to make the journey to Bhadrachalam, the Ayodhya of the South, easier by improving its road, rail and water connectivity. While the Centre is exploring the waterways, the Telangana government is getting ready with a proposal to construct a port near the town on the banks of Godavari. The river flows for a long distance in Khammam district covering 185 km in the revenue divisions of Bhadrachalam and Palvancha.
The temple of Lord Sitaramachandra Swamy is located here. Pilgrims use roadways/waterways to come here and witness the celestial wedding during Ramanavami. However, people are using roadway to come here as they feel that it would not be safe to travel in boats. In 1953, two boats ferrying devotees collided and sank in the river killing hundreds. From then on, people prefer the roadway, as it is much safer.
Roads have been expanded to connect Khammam with East and West Godavari, Chattisgarh, and Odisha. With the expansion of the transport system, there is a heavy influx of devotees, especially during festivals and other auspicious occasions. There is only one bridge to reach here. It is not strong enough to cope with thousands of devotees. It may even collapse anytime.
The Telangana government is toying with the idea of constructing another bridge from Chinnarayagudem in Manuguru mandal over the Godavari to reach Parnashala, 2.5 km away from Bhadrachalam. Transport system in future will be completely affected if the Centre and AP government go ahead and complete the Polavaram project. Bhadrachalam would be hit by floods and several villages would be inundated.
The Centre is exploring to develop water transport system as the lower areas of Bhadrachalam will not be benefited by construction of bridges. The Telangana Government intends to develop a dry port as it will be commercially profitable as Khammam district is near Kakinada, Gangavaram, Visakhapatnam and Machilipatnam Ports. Discussions are being held to improve rail connectivity to the district.