Guntur (D)

  • Sanctuary in state of neglect

    Hardly a month is left for the arrival of thousands of birds from Siberia and other parts of the world to Uppalapadu bird sanctuary in Guntur district but the renovation and repair works at the sanctuary are going at a snail's pace. Funds crunch is one of the main reasons for the poor condition of the bird sanctuary which is the second in importance in south coastal districts. About 10,000 birds from various countries take refuge at the sanctuary every year. The birds will start arriving in June and will stay there till March next.

  • Farmers will be fully compensated: YSR

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy assured farmers ravaged by the fire accident at the Agricultural Market Yard premises on Saturday that the State Government was committed to give complete compensation to farmers. "Every paisa that they had lost would be accounted for and repaid after the process of identification of farmers and enumeration of loss is completed,' he said, addressing the farmers on Sunday at the yard.

  • Water for all

    PIPED drinking water of good quality may be a dream for many of India's citizens but not for those in Guntur. Here 85 per cent of the people get treated water in abundance at their doorsteps. It is probably one of the few cities in the country that has multiple sources of water that could be tapped in emergencies. Though the city is deficient in groundwater, its residents do not feel the pinch thanks to the Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC), which supplies water from sources situated in the north-eastern part of the city. "A major quantum of raw water, however, comes from the Krishna through canals [especially the Guntur Channel] and the Sangam Jagarlamudi filtration plant,' says Municipal Commissioner Siddhartha Jain. Equitable, round-the-clock distribution of quality water is the ultimate goal of the GMC. In order to make the city water-surplus by 2036, the GMC plans to reduce consumption of power needed to lift water from the source and deliver it at the customer's doorstep, augment new sources of raw water, carry out complete lining of the Guntur Channel and reduce wastage by taking a zonal approach to distribution. The project, visualised by GKW Consultants under the Central government's Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), will cost the GMC Rs.200 crore. More than half the city's population gets free drinking water. Despite this, the GMC is able to meet its operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. For 90,000 property tax assessments, there are only 50,000 individual tap connections; 5,750 of these have been given to the poor at Rs.1,200 a connection and the remaining are public taps. A second filtration plant with a capacity of 45 million litres a day, which was set up recently at Thakellapadu on the city's outskirts, has helped the corporation filter water effectively from the Guntur Channel; this acts as a standby for the existing plant. A second water pipeline that would carry an additional 10 million gallons a day (MGD) of raw water from the Guntur Channel is to be set up soon. Rationalising water charges and metering water consumption are the long-term plans of the corporation to meet future O&M costs. Currently it collects Rs.4 crore annually as water cess from the 50,000 customers, including 1,700 commercial and bulk water users, who get metered supply. The steps taken by Mayor Kanna Nagaraju to have the Sangam Jagarlamudi plant and storage tanks cleaned and modernised has enabled the GMC stabilise its inflow and save crores of rupees. Checking leakages and improving services are not possible without the involvement of the stakeholders. The Municipal Commissioner proposes to hold regular meetings of customers under each local reservoir where minor, day-to-day problems could be sorted out. Water audit at each reservoir has improved the accountability of the engineering staff and the public. Under the audit, the GMC measures the outflow of water every hour and the total real consumption/receipt in the area it serves at the citizen's point. A modern gas equipment has been installed at reservoirs to improve water chlorination and ensure the right quantum of chlorine when it reaches the consumer.

  • A development story

    The Guntur Municipal Corporation leaves no stone unturned to ensure the city's all-round growth. THE Municipal Corporation of Guntur dreams big for the residents of the city, which has a more than 200-year-old history. It has achieved many firsts in its relatively brief existence of less than 20 years. The young corporation also has the youngest Mayor in the country, 23-year-old Kanna Nagaraju. The 52-member Municipal Council is guided by the young dynamic Municipal Commissioner Siddhartha Jain. Guntur means the village of tanks. It is believed that this village first came up close to what is known as the Red Tank. The French held Kondaveedu, a nearby village, from A.D. 1732 and built a fort to the east of the area now known as Old Guntur. The French commander constructed houses for himself and for his troopers towards the north of present-day Nallacheruvu (Black Tank) and this area was called New Guntur. One of the fastest developing Tier-III cities in Andhra Pradesh, Guntur has pride of place among municipal corporations in the State. A vibrant city, home to some of the wealthiest traders in cotton, chillis and tobacco, Guntur has fast metamorphosed into a modern city with an array of glittering shopping malls, restaurants and commercial complexes dotting the skyline. Providing basic civic amenities to a growing city with a population of over seven lakh has been a demanding task for the local body. It, however, has achieved many firsts, and dreams of providing 24-hour water supply to domestic and industrial consumers and meet the needs of the industrial corridor that is fast coming up between Vijayawada and Guntur. The corridor is expected to convert these into major Twin Cities of Andhra Pradesh after Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The GMC has achieved remarkable progress in augmenting basic amenities such as drinking water supply, sanitation, street lighting and solid waste management. It also has an efficient system in place to redress public grievances. "The GMC is highly responsive to civic problems and innovative in toning up its administrative machinery,' said District Collector Mohammad Ali Rafath. SANITATION A series of special drives has been launched by the Municipal Commissioner to augment the quality of basic services such as sanitation. The three-bin system has become a reality in many apartment complexes in the city and garbage clearance is 100 per cent. A week-long special sanitation drive in the city identified several issues, and short-term and long-term plans have been envisaged to solve them. For solid waste management, the GMC got a grant of Rs.1.26 crore from the Twelfth Finance Commission, which was spent on procuring dumper bins and tricycles. Today local residents' welfare associations take care of 50 per cent of the house-to-house garbage collection system. The use of coloured plastic bins for waste segregation at source has been introduced in some commercial areas too. Seventy-six acres of land was recently acquired in Yedlapadu mandal for dumping waste. Works such as construction of drains, laying of roads, improvement of road junctions and development of burial grounds were taken up at a cost of Rs.24 crore. Siddhartha Jain said: "People should be proud of the city they live in and be motivated to be part of the planned development. A systematic approach to administration and planning is the need of the hour. Special drives to improve sanitation and provide water supply connections will help in identifying several issues.' MEDICAL CAMP Mayor Kanna Nagaraju. At 23, he is the youngest Mayor in India. The municipal body is going beyond its principal mandate of providing basic amenities to the people; the GMC organises mega medical camps. The camps held on the Sri Patibandla Sitaramaiah High School grounds in December every year witnesses a huge turnout. The latest camp attracted more than 15,000 people. A team of 85 doctors from 20 specialisations attended to 13,400 patients. Medicines costing Rs.8.4 lakh were distributed. As many as 180 paramedical staff, students of nursing colleges and 370 cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) volunteered their services. The success of the camp motivated some private hospitals and clinics to offer follow-up medical service for the patients. They would be treated for a month at a hospital of their choice. One of the most daunting tasks for the corporation is to ensure potable drinking water for the entire city. Guntur, which does not have a raw water source, depends on the Guntur Channel and the Buckingham Channel to supply 80 million litres per day (MLD) against the total ideal assessed demand of 121 MLD. The centuries-old water source at Sangam Jagarlamudi has been renovated thanks to the special interest shown by the Mayor. A water filtration plant of 10 million gallons per day has been commissioned and four reservoirs have been built at L.B. Nagar, Srinivasarao Thota, R.T.C. Colony and Stambalagaruvu. Rise in rEVENUE The corporation saw a turnaround in its finances with a near 100 per cent collection of tax and non-tax revenue from individuals and commercial establishments. Innovative steps taken by Deputy Commissioner N. Yadagiri Rao to boost revenue collection have yielded results; of the total 1.14 lakh assessments, 941 were new assessments. The revenue wing has been trifurcated

  • Health ministry rubbishes AIDS headcount

    a recent study of Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district, which shows that the number of hiv/aids patients in India could be an overestimate, has been called "unrealistic' by the Union ministry of

  • Institutional failure and farmers' suicides in Andhra Pradesh

    Small and marginal farmers are the worst hit by the problems that afflict agriculture. The macro and micro level factors together have created stress among the poor farmers forcing them to commit suicide.

  • A people still at sea

    When Baskaran, a fisherman in Nochikuppam, Chennai, is asked what the fisherfolk normally eat for breakfast

  • Cool stuff?

    Cool stuff?

    Farmers concoct pesticides out of colas

  • Central Tobacco Research Institute

    Central Tobacco Research Institute, an organization of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), is an apex research body for tobacco in India. Multi disciplinary programmes of CTRI have helped in evolving high yielding cultivars of tobacco, quality up gradation thereby improving the farmers' economics & enhancing tobacco exports.

  • Solar city among 5 major projects coming up in Guntur

    T. Vijaya Kumar The Major Industries Minister, Mr K. Lakshminarayana, unveils the plaque inaugurating internal roads at Auto Nagar in Guntur on Thursday.

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