Going along the Rushikonda – Bheemili stretch, one must have noticed a construction of sorts taking place along this stretch. A function hall is not just being built along this stretch, violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, but another private construction has been taken up at Rushikonda Beach itself. Reportedly, huts are being constructed by the beach with speculation afloat that a paintball arena will soon be coming up in the vicinity.
Rushikonda is one such beach in Visakhapatnam that has been successful in attracting tourists due to the availability of surfing, wave-riding facilities, and APTDC enabled speed boats and jet-skis. However, these facilities are something non-functional due to technical snags or workers’ strikes. Despite the state government’s announcements about the development of water sports in the city, the existing ones already lie in total neglect due to unavailability of infrastructure and proper storage space for these.
A source told TOI that they found stumps of palm trees where removable containers consisting of sports related equipment used to be stationed. The source also mentioned that cement blocks have been placed in the area now, looking like construction of huts are underway. But reportedly, locals believe that a paintball area will be coming up despite the area being too small for the purpose.
An employee of the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) stated that he has been associated with the beach since 2002 and seen first-hand the damages the beach has suffered in the name of beautification and development. He says that the state government keeps granting private companies permission for water-sports and these companies take up constructions that cause beach erosion.