Visakhapatnam, Aug 19 (): Vizag will have its beaches modelled on Goa with exclusive liquor zones to woo foreign tourists and the airport at Bheemili in the district with an extended runway that goes towards the sea to make big aircrafts like Airbus and Dreamliner land.
The Visakhapatnam airport with hills around cannot have big aircrafts land. The tourism ministry found that the Vizag beaches which are very clean and attractive are getting only 2% of the foreign tourists who visit Andhra. Vizag has many tourist attractions like the Buddhist monuments and heritage spots but those who come to the city are visiting Simhachalam temple and going back. The idea is to open shacks in beaches starting from Tenneti to Bheemili which will sell liquor to tourists who come to the beach. There will be adequate policing in the area. Andhra government’s idea is to make Vizag the Goa of the east coast.
Union ministry has denied permission to set airport in Achutapuram since the Navy has a submarine base near it. Natakpalli also in Vizag was identified but aviation committee says that there are technical problems. The only place is Bheemili which has 1400 acres of land and like many airports in China that have runway extended into the sea, here too this model will be implemented.
Andhra tourism is centered around Tirupati temple and other sites are rarely attracting traffic. The idea is that if big aircrafts come then tourism to Vizag will increase. The plan is also to make Vizag a location for filmmakers. The beach was made popular by K Balchander in Ek Duje Ke Liye across the country but film units coming from outside Andhra do not go beyond Ramoji Film City near Hyderabad.
Tourism industry is not much elated with Andhra’s move to allow liquor sales on Vizag beach. They point out that Andhra is the only state that charges Rs 45 lakhs per year for liquor selling license. Only if this is reduced will anybody come forward, says an owner of a resort in Vizag.