Ukkunagaram is a self contained Township, developed by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL-VSP), close to the Plant, for its workforce to dwell in. It is spread over an area of approximately 6,400 hectares. The Township consists of 11 sectors. The Roads and Sectors of Ukkunagaram do not follow the traditional American system of streets and Avenues, instead a complicated design based on the shape of circles, leaves and branches has been chosen. The consultants for the Township layout is one M/s Auroville'd'Trust of Pondicherry. It looks like the only guideline the management gave them was "Let's make it different". Well! different our township really is. Now where else would you find such confusing layouts of Sectors, narrow congested roads, with turns at acute angles far too less for the turning radius of most vehicles. If you still get lost while moving around in Ukkunagaram then don't loose your cool, you are one of the many Ukkuites who have that honor.
Ukkunagaram is one of the most green Townships in India you may say. VSP has taken pains to plant a tree for every Tonne of Steel capacity of the plant, which is around 3.0 Million trees. The afforestation department is doing a good job. During summer the township is a good 3 degrees centigrade cooler than Vizag city. It is heard that there is some gang illegally felling trees from the afforestation Zone. Hope someone puts an end to it.
The water to the plant and township is stored in an artificial reservoir called Kanithi Balancing Reservoir, the contract for constructing the same was taken by our good old Businessman-cum-film producer-turned politician, Shri. Subbirami Reddy. This project definitely changed his fortune. Water comes to VSP through yeleru canal. We have our own filtration and water treatment plant. All our township lacks is a movie hall and a liquor shop. Well we have Annapurna Theater in Kurmannapalem and two liquor shops at Desapatrunipalem, which are not really far off for the determined.
Shops and business --
Most Sectors have their own Shopping Complex containing all necessary shops for daily needs. The exception being Sector-4, Sector-7 and Sector-9. The Sector-2 Shopping complex is called the sub-center and hence is quite large. For vegetables, fruits and fish, there is a tri-weekly market in sector-6 and Sector-9. VSPECS, a co-operative venture of VSP employees, has the largest chain of shops in township. No wonder that the election of office bearers to the society is a big event.
There are quite a lot of Parks in Ukkunagaram. Nehru Park, Indira Gandhi park, Dr. Ambedkar park (Sector-6), Babu Jagjivan Ram Park (Sector-5), Tenneti Park (Sector-9), Swarna Jayanti Park, Ekalavya Park (Sector-1), to name a few. There is a skating rink in Nehru Park. A boating club was supposed to come in Indira Gandhi Park but was shelved for safety reasons. People come to these parks for picnics, especially Nehru Park and Indira Gandhi Park, from far off places during Sundays and holidays.
Religious shrines --
Ther are many religious shrines in Ukkunagaram. They are Shiva Temple (Sector-6), Venkateshwara Swamy Temple (Sector-2), Kali Temple Sector-6), Shirdi Sai Temple (Sector-8), Sai spiritual Center (Sector-1), Jagannath Temple (Sector-8), Christ the Saviour Church (Sector-8) and Mosque (Sector-6). Shirdi Sai temple and Jagannath temple are still under construction. There is still scope for at least a Gurudwara and an Ayyappa Temple.
To take care of the studies of the children VSP has provided more than enough Schools. They are Aurobindo Public School, DAV School(Sector-3), Kendriya Vidyalaya (Sector-2), Visahka Vimala Vidyalaya (Sector-6), Delhi Public School(Sector-8), De Paul School (Sector-8), Chaitanya Public School (Sector-10), Little Angels School (Sector-10) and Shiva Shivani School (Sector-9).
A college called "ALFA" has been allowed by VSP to be constructed on the main approach road, on the site of originally proposed Stadia. The sub-station constructed for the stadia has come in usefull. It began its first term in 1999-2000. Parents who do not want their wards to be far away from their protective web, find it very convenient. The building is still not complete. A few fans and light fittings keep falling from the ceiling now and then and the main road is highly accident prone.
There is only one hospital, run by the management called Visakha Steel General Hospital (VSGH), situated in Sector-6. It has all the latest facilities and equipments including a most modern burns unit. The only problem is that doctors have too many patients to see on any single day and personalised attention cannot be given. These days a lot of restrictions are put on medicines being issued. Get hold of an union representative if you are really in need of help, want to move things fast or if you like to get a refferal outside. Many employees have had successful heart bypass surgeries and have survived heart attacks, thank to VSGH's magnanimity.
There is one Club for the Officers of Steel plant, called Ukkunagaram Club, located in Sector-4. It has around 1200 members. The club has facilities like a Billiards table, Bar, Swimming pool, Multi-purpose Auditorium, Library, Reading Room, etc. A second Officers club is in the process of getting established in the old Russian complex, using the Old Russian club and its infrastructure. For the recreation of non-executives of VSP a community welfair center has been established in Sector-5. It has a Library and a hall for performing public functions.