Visakhapatnam: The excitement for the International Fleet Review in the Vizagites is fading out as fast as the event is nearing, as many could not secure passes being issued through Mee -Seva centres.
Tension ran high at a Mee-Seva centre in MVP colony on Sunday as people staged a protest accusing the operators of blocking the passes and being biased while issuing it.
In the second round, about 40,000 passes were being issued at 105 Mee Seva and E-Seva centres from Sunday. The joint collector J. Nivas said each centre is being provided with 800 to 1000 passes. Earlier, the administration had issued about 87,000 passes in the first round.
The district administration is issuing 1.4 lakh passes in phases for general public and another 10,000 for VIPs for the ‘Operation Demonstration International City Parade’ event slated for February 7. So, only 7 per cent people of the city, which has a population of more than 20 lakhs, can witness the event, live.
“Within 10 minutes, the Mee-Seva operator said that passes were over though we were very few people in the queue. I cannot believe this. The operators are surely blocking the tickets. I am really sad that I can not witness the event being a localite,” P. Aditya, a youth said.
On the other hand, people have expressed unhappiness over filthy condition of the enclosures made for the pass holders along the RK Beach from Coastal Battery to the Palm Beach hotel.
The city’s drainage canals passing next to many enclosures are emanating a foul smell. However, the seating arrangements for VIPs have been made by putting up a gallery with good chairs.
When contacted, the district collector said the administration is trying to make issuing the passes transparent.
“I am immediately sending the administration officials to the spot from where we are receiving complaints of irregularities. Although, it is very tough to keep eye on all the centres due to shortage of manpower,” he added.
Crime rate falls as security tightens
The tight security arrangements for the smooth conduct of International Fleet Review (IFR) in Vizag might have been causing inconvenience to commuters and residents, but it appears to have had at least one positive impact, that of making Vizag a crime free city for past two weeks.
Usually 300 to 500 police personnel used to be on the roads at night in the city, which has a population of over 20 lakh.
But, ahead of IFR, over 15,000 police personnel from parts of Andhra Pradesh have reached Vizag for traffic management, crowd control and other duties and around 3,000 police personnel have been on the city roads during night to ensure security.
Sources in police said that due to the presence of the police personnel round-the-clock at almost all the zones, particularly in East Zone (the crime prone area in the city), there were no incidents of crime such as property offences, chain snatchings, group clashes and others.
In Vizag East Zone, MVP Colony used to be the focus of burglars and chain snatchers as the colony has been divided into 16 sectors with over one lakh population and a mix of city’s elite and a large number of students, politicians, retired persons.
Thanks to the security arrangements for IFR, we have been sleeping without any fear of burglars, said K. Siva Kumar, a resident of MVP Colony.
Admitting that there were no major crime incidents in these days, DCP (Crime) T. Ravi Kumar Murthy said that with the deployment of cops from various parts of the state, the criminals have no way to break into houses and other establishments.
In the coming couple of days we are planning to strengthen the security further as delegates from various countries and VVIPs will be visiting the city for IFR, he added....