Close on the hill of getting eco-label ‘Blue Flag” certification for Rushikonda beach for meeting the standards of environmental management, now a five-star hotel with sumptuous accommodation along with indulgent amenities will come upon the Rushikond hill. For this, APTDC has decided to demolish the existing Harita Resort and flatten the land for the construction of the 5-star hotel. Bookings have been suspended since February in the wake of the new project.
Last December, the AP tourism ministry announced that it had identified 12 areas for tourism development in the state, including the construction of seven / five-star hotels to attract world-class tourists. Rushikonda is also on that list.
Interest in this project is gaining prominence in the wake of Visakhapatnam getting the tag of Executive capital and upcoming state government offices close to the region. It was earlier reported that the 55 cottages in the Harita resort would be used as government offices. But the APTDC announced four days ago that it would demolish them and undertake massive constructions.
Proposals with Rs.92 crore
The total area of Rushikonda is 108 acres. The APTDC said it would now flatten the hill and build roads on an area of 65 acres. The tender notification said that in the first phase, Rs 53 crore would be spent on clearing the hill alone and providing roads and other infrastructure. The second phase will see the construction of a 5-star hotel, convention center, auditorium, sports center and entertainment. It called on the central and state government agencies to come forward to provide services as a project management consultancy to undertake these tasks. APTDC is to undertake this project. Attempts are being made to get some help from the central government. Similarly, it is expected to take loans from banks and move forward. Officials said Rs 92 crore would be invested in the first phase and more could be done after that.
All this and more is fine but what about the fate of 130 staff who are on the payrolls of Harita Resort. Now they are raising questions about their future with the APTDC officials. Only options left for the tourism department to adjust them in other hotels running the district.
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