VMC has sent the old proposal to the government now to merge 45 surrounding Gram Panchayats with the city

It is more-than-a-decade-old proposal – to extend the boundaries of Vijayawada city. Now it has been taken out of cold storage, and is likely to be a reality soon as the move to convert the city into Greater Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is gaining momentum.

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) sent a proposal to the State government recently underscoring the need for the merger of 45 Gram Panchayats (GPs) with the civic body. Subsequently, the Panchayat Raj Department has circulated the proposal among the GPs a day ago.

Within city, not technically

According to information, villages under Penamaluru, Kankipadu, Vijayawada (Rural), Gannavaram, and Ibrahimpatnam mandals would be merged with the city. While a few of them are slightly away from the city, the majority of them over time have become suburbs. In fact, gram panchayats such as Yanamalukuduru, Penamaluru, Prasadampadu, Enikepadu have become part of the city long back though technically they continue to be outside the city limits.

District Panchayat Officer (Krishna), in the circular to the GPs, stated that a meeting with MLAs and Ministers would be convened on Wednesday to discuss the matter. The GPs were asked to provide information such as existing water connections with tentative requirements, the budget, including revenue and expenses, grants etc.

“The panchayats were also asked to provide socio-economic profile which covers category-wise population, number of households, a brief note on resources and MSMEs, open space, and land bank available etc.,” sources say.

Kanuru, Poranki, Tadigadapa, Yanamalakuduru, Penamaluru, Ganguru, Gosala, Eedpugallu, Punadipadu, Kankipadu, Ramavarappadu, Prasadampadu, Enikepadu, Nidamanuru, Done Atkur, Gudavalli, Velpuru, Uppuluru, Kesarapalli, Purushottampatnam, Ajjampudu, Buddhavaram, Gannavaram, Vedurupavulur, Savaragudem, Jakkulam Nekkal, Ramachandrapuram, Nunnna, Ambapuram are some of the 45 villages.

Development and revenue rise

Once GVMC comes into being, infrastructure in the surrounding GPs can be developed on a par with the city which will augment the Corporation’s revenue. The VMC had worked on the Greater Vijayawada proposal in 2013. The boundaries of Vijayawada will expand phenomenally if the proposals eventually materialise. The total area of the city will swell to more than 403 sq. km., from the existing 61.88 sq. km.

The Corporation had in the past proposed merger of only 15 surrounding villages with a total extent of 125.52 sq. km. Later the plans were changed, and the VMC officials thought that 45 villages will need to be merged with the city.

The proposal to form the GVMC was in fact conceived in 2007. The plan was to dissolve the surrounding GPs and bring them under the ambit of the VMC to form the ‘greater city’ by 2010. But the State government of united Andhra Pradesh did not favour dissolution of the GPs. Elections to the VMC were also conducted in 2014 with existing boundaries just before State’s bifurcation in 2014.

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