The neglected Gandhi Hill, an important monument of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, is finally in for a much-needed facelift.
Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority (APTA) have decided todevelop the 500-ft-high hill located behind the Vijayawada Junction railway station in Tarapet.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting, presided over by the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Language and Culture Mukesh Kumar Meena, at the Secretariat on Friday.
After several rounds of talks with members of the Gandhi Hill Foundation, tourism officials announced an allocation of Rs. 5 crore for the project. Deviating from the initial plan of renovating the existing planetarium alone at a cost of Rs. 3.15 crore, the Tourist wing now intends to change the face of the entire hill by adding new features besides renovating the existing structures.
Pointing to the fact that people of the city have no place to visit except the Bhavani Island, Mr. Meena directed the officials to revive the lost sheen of Gandhi Hill and make it an attractive tourist destination.
Formerly known as Orr Hill, the Gandhi memorial has a 52-ft Stupa, which was unveiled in 1968 by the then President Zakir Hussain. Considered a monument of the Indian independence struggle, it pays homage to the Father of the Nation.
The picturesque Bhavani Island on the banks of river Krishna will get a new attraction – a glow garden, said tourism officials.
APTA CEO Himanshu Shukla said a glow garden using over 10 lakh LED lights would be developed . “The idea is to accentuate the beauty of the island with the shimmer of colourful lights reflecting on the serene waters of river Krishna,” he said.
Mr. Shukla said with the Government identifying tourism as a growth engine, a series of projects would be taken up to transform the local landscape into an international tourist destination that would attract people from outside the country .
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