Environment

Eco-tourism hub emerging near Vizag

VISAKHAPATNAM: The scenic Kondakarla Ava, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country that is located at a distance of around 50 km from the city, will soon be developed into a major eco-tourism hub by the AP Tourism Development Corporation.

It will have amenities like watch tower, wooden cottages, cafeteria and washrooms apart from boating and live fishing activities, reports The Hindu.

Spread over 1,400 acres, the perennial water body is a home to more than 100 species of birds, including several migratory ones from Sibera that arrive here in large flocks during the winter months.

Nestled in the lap of Eastern Ghats at Atchutapuram mandal, the pristine waters have been attracting nature lovers, shutterbugs, picnickers and tourists all round the year.

In its bid to get the ball rolling to promote eco-tourism on a large scale in the State, the Tourism Department in association with VUDA have already initiated development works at the location. Speaking to The Hindu, District Tourism Information Officer K. Gyana Veni said, “VUDA has developed retaining wall on two sides, pathways for parking area and jetty approach road and works are going on for levelling and filling of site at the required height.”

The government had sanctioned an amount of ₹ 25 lakh for starting the first phase of works out of which ₹12.5 lakh were released to VUDA. Additional funds of ₹ 30 lakh has also been sanctioned by the State government under the Local Tourism Projects for development of basic amenities.

“The aim is to develop the place as an eco leisure lake tourism site. In line with the eco-tourism concept, we plan to develop traditional boating activities with safety measures, develop live fishing activities, wooden cottages, a community-based food court, approach road, children’s play equipment and view point. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year,” Ms Veni added.

As part of the project, there are plans to develop three cottages, GI chain-link fencing, streetlighting, construction of 30 meters jetty, construction of two viewpoints and signages.

Further, the Water Resources Department – Visakhapatnam Division, has given an estimate of ₹19.87 crore for silting and strengthening of bunds for tourism purposes, the work for which is expected to begin shortly.

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