With the nation celebrating tourism day today, let us peek into how Vizag, the city of destiny, has to contribute. From Erra Matti Dibbalu glowing in crimson red to the chilly peaks over clouds in Vanjangi, Vizag has it all. Needless to say, the pristine beaches and a myriad other places in Vizag attract tourists from across the nation, if not the world.
It is known that Rushikonda beach in Vizag is one among the selected few beaches in India to be certified with “Blue Flag” status. Apart from Rushikonda, RK Beach, Bheemili, Yarada, and Appikonda are some of the other beaches frequented by residents and tourists alike. While these beaches attract more leisure tourists, places like Kambalakonda, Thatipudi, Lambasingi, and Araku, which are home to beautiful hills of the eastern ghats, ideal for trekking and camping, invite travellers seeking adventure amidst nature. Long drives by the coast; kayaking, diving, or surfing at the beach; sipping coffee at a cafe in RK Beach road; trekking to the highest peak in the eastern ghats; camp at a hill station to gaze at the night sky, these are a few of the many activities one can indulge in Vizag.
However, we often see such places being exploited and polluted by the general public. For instance, with Vanjangi being in the limelight for its picturesque sun seeming to rise above the clouds, tourists visiting this gem of a place take home beautiful memories leaving behind non-biodegradable plastic waste such as water bottles, food wrappers, etc. damaging the sanctity of the place. It’s saddening to see such serene places engulfed in human pollution. Owing to such alarming human behaviour, nature explorers in and around Vizag are reluctant to expose undiscovered places to protect them from unruly waste disposal.
One might argue that lack of proper facilities being the reason, and urge the government to set up dustbins and public toilets at such places. Although true for tourist spots like Vanjangi, which has emerged recently, the government is not entirely to be blamed. The whole stretch through the coastline has seen significant development over time. With dustbins set up at nearly 100 feet apart and public washroom facilities in prominent areas, GVMC has stood by its duties. Unfortunately, we still see the beaches littered with plastic water bottles, liquor bottles, empty food containers, among other waste. Heritage and nature enthusiasts of the city express their disheartenment when they see sites filled with culture and history soiled by the remains of groups gathering for picnics. The sight of paper cups, glasses, and food waste at such unique and magnificent places is truly heartbreaking.
While the officials are doing their bit to provide proper facilities for tourists to experience the beauty of Vizag to the fullest, we as the common public and residents of this beautiful city must take the responsibility to keep our city neat and clean. A simple gesture of taking the effort to dispose of garbage in an appropriate manner goes a long way. With even the sea being affected by the waste being thrown into the waters, educating and making people aware of the environmental hazards caused by littering carelessly is also important.