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Committed to develop Vizag as Andhra’s administrative capital: Jagan Mohan Reddy

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Visakhapatnam, March 5 (IANS) Reaffirming his commitment to make Visakhapatnam the administrative capital of Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced on Tuesday that after the coming elections, he would stay here and that his swearing-in ceremony would also take place in the port city. Addressing a seminar, attended by more than 2,000 industrialists, he unveiled ‘Vision Visakha’ for the next five years.”We have court cases going on. We have so many people trying to oppose everything,” he said referring to ongoing court cases against his three capitals’ plan.”But I am assuring post-election, my stay would be in Vizag. In fact, my swearing ceremony would also be. This is my commitment to Vizag,” he said exuding confidence of retaining power in the ensuing Assembly elections.The Chief Minister stated that the city needs to be developed as the growth engine that would contribute to the all-round prosperity of the state in the coming years.Dwelling at length on the advantages the city has to become the executive capital, he said the opposition parties and groups, along with their “friendly media”, are opposing the idea of Visakhapatnam as the executive capital city for the simple reason that they have their interests elsewhere.He clarified that he is not against Amaravati to be developed as the capital city.”But we need to spend around Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of 20 years pumping in Rs 5,000 crore every year to build the capital-necessitated infrastructure in around 50,000 acres of virgin land. Who knows, the estimates may go up and we may require spending around Rs 5 or 10 lakh crore to construct our capital at Amaravati over a period of time,” he said.Jagan Mohan Reddy said neglecting these facts, the opposition and its “friendly media” were shamelessly making a hue and cry indulging in land-grabbing allegations.He maintained that Vizag has all the necessary infrastructure to be the administrative capital for the state and said that the government only needs to give the final touches to the city.Clarifying that he has no vested interest, Jagan Mohan Reddy remarked that if he had a vested interest, he would have proposed Kadapa as the state capital.”As Hyderabad has nearly 90 per cent of the PSUs, it grew at a faster pace and has become the growth engine city for the Telangana post-bifurcation. Our state can’t grow unless and until we have a similar growth engine city,” he said.Vizag has perfect potential to become our growth engine for Andhra Pradesh, he said, adding it would become another city like Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru in another 10 years or so.”With the basic infrastructure of well-laid out roads, port facilities, and some good structures, it is enough if we have an iconic Secretariat, a convention centre, and a sports stadium and the like that could attract the attention of people not only in India but across the world.”Listing out the advantages for Visakhapatnam, the Chief Minister said that apart from the city already being a port, the Mulapeta Port and Bhogapuram International Airport, along with the 6-lane express highway, would be ready for functioning in another 15 or 18 months, boosting up infrastructure.That apart, the coming up of Adani Data Centre that facilitates the laying of submarine cable from Singapore and 7-star hotels, resorts by Oberai and May Fair groups, and NTPC Green Hydrogen projects will also contribute to the growth of the city, he said, adding that the government has also been trying to have a balanced growth of manufacturing and services sectors across the state aiming at decentralised growth.–IANSms/vd

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