The CityAgainst the backdrop of the gently sloping Eastern Ghats and the 144 km long pictorial coastline, Visakhapatnam on the eastern coast is one of India’s most aesthetically developed cities.
Deriving its strength from the manufacturing facilities of large public sector undertakings like Hindustan Shipyards, Hindustan Petroleum, Hindustan Zinc, Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels, Coromandel Fertilisers, and India’sfirst port-based steel plant, the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, Vizag plays a vital role in the economy of its home state, Andhra Pradesh.
These heavy industries in turn draw their strength from the Vizag port, which is not only the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, but also houses South and South-east Asia’s largest ship repair facility.
The boom in real estate in Vizag has been fuelled not only by its investment potential but also as a retirement destination by public sector employees, professionals and migrants from neighboring districts. Entrepreneurs who moved from adjoining districts have brought their trade with them, and real estate, construction, hospitality and financial services have mushroomed with their advent.
The IT industry is in its nascent stage currently, with 50 small and medium scale units in operation. Wipro, Infosys and IBM Daksh are slated to launch their projects in the city too.
Home to the reputed Andhra University, Vizag is acquiring a name for higher education, considering the growing number of private engineering institutions in the city. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has also expressed a desire to set up a research centre and a nuclear power plant in Visakhapatnam.
Infrastructure and Facilities
Vizag’s growth into a major industrial city has necessitated the need for a stronger infrastructure to support the population that is expected to treble in another 10-15 years. Political support for Vizag is coming in, with the state government committed to spend Rs.1000 crore on the rehabilitation of slum dwellers in 2007-08.
The central government is also pitching in with a Rs. 1,600 crore grant to develop roads, improve drainage and sewage systems, and augment drinking water supplies. .
The city is on the move as the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) aggressively engages in widening roads and initiating green projects. The four-lane project between Vizag and Bhimili Beach Road is already underway, while the two-side tunnel between Vizag and Simhachalam is being commissioned with an investment of Rs 50 crore.
Public transport within the city and decongested roads are assured once the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation’s action plan for the Rs. 453 crore Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project is put in place.As for Vizag’s air links with major cities, the same would be augmented once night landing facilities are completed. A proposal is on to upgrade the airport to an international level. Meanwhile, the Visakhapatnam Port Trust, as the country’s premier port handling 55.8 million tones during 2005 – 06, is being upgraded to handle Panamax vessels and large crude carriers.