Tribal district to be free from LWE, ganja smuggling. (Representational Image)
VISHAKHAPATNAM: Capital status for Visakhapatnam would not only develop the north coastal Andhra districts but also turn the neighbouring ASR district into a major tourist hub.
As per the discussions in the business and officials circles, the enhancement of the security for Vizag as capital would help free the tribal district from banes of Left Wing Extremism and ganja smuggling.
The agency tracts see a regular flow of visitors throughout the year. The most visited places – Borra Caves and Lambasingi -- get an average of 5,000 tourists a day. People also visit the Katiki and Tadimada waterfalls, Chaparai near Araku Valley, the tribal museum and the Padmapuram gardens.
The APTDC is also increasing its accommodation facilities at Lambasingi, Anantagiri and Araku Valley. Many entertainment activities like bungee jumping, trekking and forest camping would be introduced, an official said.
APTDC chairman Vara Prasad Reddy said the focus would be on ASR district after Vizag becomes the capital.
"We are expecting some big players to invest in Araku and other places during the Global Investor Summit in Visakhapatnam during the first week of the next month,’’ the chairman said.
ASR district collector Sumeet Kumar said the administration aimed to increase the infrastructure at the popular tourist places in the agency. "We are focusing on cleanliness. Many tourists have been complaining of littering. We have sanitary workers on 40 bikes and one worker is positioned every two-km distance on the ghat road to clear the garbage,’’ he said.
"Ganja smuggling has been curbed to a large extent and we are motivating the farmers to take up alternative crops for a comfortable living. The Left Wing Extremist activities have become a thing of the past," he said.
"Law and order will further improve in the ASR agencies as VIPs sitting in the capital would not like to hear about Maoist activities or ganja smuggling in their neighborhood,’’ said a retired police officer.
Another officer quoted finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying in her Budget speech that, with an integrated and innovative approach, at least 50 destinations would be selected through challenge mode. The ASR district would hopefully fall into one such destination, he said.