With bushes cropping up everywhere, litter being thrown here and there, and snakes making their presence known now and then, the walking track at Marripalem Vuda Layout in Visakhapatnam was hardly visited by people when it was declared open by the GVMC last year.
But now, it has become the favourite choice of many for their fitness activity. Thanks to walkers in the colony and its surrounding areas, the track has undergone a total makeover, drawing all sections in big numbers. The walkers joined hands and formed an association – Healthy Walkers Association – and launched a cleaning operation, offering ‘shramdaan’.
They also started various service activities, such as the conduct of free medical camps and walking contests, to draw passersby to the track. Realising the need to get help from the corporation, the association members approached Deputy Mayor Jiyyani Sridhar, who represents the ward, and they later responded positively. The Deputy Mayor, who frequently visits the track, got funds sanctioned liberally for the track.
The Marripalem walking track has been provided with a lighting facility, which was recently launched by Mayor Visakhapatnam G Hari Venkata Kumari. Moreover, the track also got play and gym equipment. The Mayor also assured the association members of providing water facilities and appointing a watchman for the track.
Meanwhile, the association is all set to celebrate its first anniversary on 3 April 2023 on a large scale. Sridhar has agreed to attend the function, according to association president K Nageswara Rao. While expressing gratitude to the Deputy Mayor, he said, “Without the cooperation of Sridhar, the development of the track would not have been possible. He paid special attention to the track development and played a key role in the provision of lighting facility and play equipment.”
“The association is planning plantation on a large scale. Besides planting, we must ensure their survival, which is a tough task. We also focus on the maintenance of the track’s cleanliness,” he said.
While appreciating the association for its initiative regarding the development of the track, Vegi Ramachandra Rao, a senior citizen and a regular walker, has underlined the need for public participation for the success of any government initiative. “It is not wise to think the government would do everything,” he opines.
Article written by Lakkoju Nagesh Babu, senior journalist and Column Editor.
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