Visakhapatnam: Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) has identified 110 water bodies across 13 districts in the state to develop water and adventure sports, besides creating recreation spaces for the public. Scuba, diving, sailing, surfing and yachting are some of the activities to be part of the sports.
The water bodies identified are beaches, river ghats, ponds and reservoirs. The state has nearly 40 major, medium and minor rivers, of which 12 of them are inter-state rivers. Roughly six to seven percent of the state's land is occupied by water bodies.
The SAAP has even approached the authorities concerned like the Revenue, Irrigation, Forests and Tourism to get No Objection Certificate (NOC) to start the works as per the objectives.
Confirming this to Deccan Chronicle, a SAAP senior official said “Yes, 110 water bodies have been identified in the state to promote water sports in various methods including training to the aspirants. We have tied up with the AP Police department to take the coaches and trainers for the water sports activities. We have received NOC from departments like Irrigation for some water bodies.”
The SAAP official added that they selected one main water body from each district to conduct the district level activities. In case of Visakhapatnam, the Rushikonda beach was selected due to various reasons. The beach is recognised worldwide due to its Blue Flag certification and the SAAP also owns nearly 1 to 1.5 acres of land at the beach.
Similarly, Tadipudi in Vizianagaram district, Punnami Ghat in Krishna district, Yerra Kaluva in West Godavari etc have some basic infrastructure facilities.
“We need to develop the basic infrastructure at the identified locations using our own funds and also public private partnership mode. We have even sought financial support from the Centre’s Ministry of Sports too,” the office said.
The SAAP chairman Byreddy Siddharth Reddy also visited Vizag to study scuba diving at Rushikonda beach and interacted with the local sportsmen to discuss the feasibility of the water sports activities in the city.
Reddy personally studied scuba diving in the Rushsikonda beach and was overjoyed diving underwater and fascinated about the scenic beauty of the beach, said Balaram Naidu, scuba diver, who assisted Reddy....