240-km long Araku-Ichchapuram Eastern Ghats corridor mooted to boost tourism

Visakhapatnam: The proposal for the 240-km long Eastern Ghats Corridor National Highway (EGCNH) from Araku to Ichchapuram has been brought to the fore. This is the first such project submitted by the tourism department of Parvatipuram-Manyam tribal district in north coastal AP.

The proposed corridor is conceived as a continuation of NH 516E (Rajahmundry to Araku via Vizianagaram) connecting Salur, Makkuva, Parvathipuram, Kurupam, Gummalakshmipuram, Battili, Kothur, Hiramandalam, Meliaputti, Mandasa and Ichchapuram. All these areas come under Alluri, Manyam and Srikakulam districts.

The proposal has recently been sent to the state government with a recommendation to prepare a DPR. This needs to be submitted to the line departments under the Union ministries of tourism and transport. It is hoped they would give their administrative approval to the greenfield tourism highway project.

The district tourism council (DTC) recently discussed ways for improving road connectivity in the Eastern Ghats to boost ecotourism activity. The EGCNH proposal was mooted at the meeting. It was decided to send the proposal to principal secretary, Roads and Buildings, AP government, for consideration and further action.

A Manyam district tourism official told Deccan Chronicle that the flora and fauna have tremendous potential in the development of eco-tourism. “Promotion of tourism is one of the best ways to develop the region and increase the revenue levels and job opportunities for the region," he said.

“North coastal Andhra Pradesh has a huge footfall not only from West Bengal and Odisha, but other states too. They enjoy the scenic beauty of the Eastern Ghats. Hence, there is a need to connect the road from Araku to Ichchapuram on the ghats,” he added.

Jindhagada is the highest peak in the Eastern Ghats, situated 1,690 metres above sea level. In the same mountain range, at a height 20 metres less than the first is the Armakonda peak; both in the Araku Valley.

The view of the valley from the hilltop is enchanting. The place is known for its rich flora and fauna throughout the year. In winter, many migratory birds can be seen there.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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