Visakhapatnam, formerly known as Vizagapatam and now also known as Vizag, was on Tuesday announced as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said he also would be shifting his office to Visakhapatnam, a port city, in the months to come.
Speaking at the preparatory meeting in Delhi for the Global Investors Summit to be held in Visakhapatnam in March, he told the investors, “Here I am to invite you to Visakhapatnam which is going to be our capital in the days to come. I myself would also be shifting over to Visakhapatnam in the months to come as well.”
Visakhapatnam is the largest and most populous city of Andhra Pradesh. It is between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the second-largest city on the east coast of India after Chennai and the fourth-largest in South India. It is one of the four smart cities of Andhra Pradesh selected under the Smart Cities Mission.
It is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently and illustrate the legacy of Buddhism in the region.
As of 2011 census of India, Visakhapatnam had a population of 1,728,128, of which males were 873,599 and females were 854,529 – a sex ratio of 978 females per 1000 males. The recent estimates of city’s population are 2,358,412 in 2022.
The city is known for its beaches, caves and the Eastern Ghats as well as wildlife sanctuaries. According to Wikipedia, about 30 per cent of the city is covered with greenery. It also has two of the largest ports in the country – the Vizag port and Gangavaram Port.
In 2015, the N Chandrababu Naidu-led government acquired over 33,000 acres of land from farmers to develop Amaravati as the capital of the state.
After Jagan Reddy took over in 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government wanted to have three capitals — Visakhapatnam-Executive Capital, Amaravati-Legislative capital, and Kurnool-Judicial capital and passed appropriate legislation.
The Jagan Reddy government passed a Bill in the Assembly in November last year, repealing the controversial AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, which was intended to establish three capitals for the state.
In March last year, the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruled against the three capitals and directed the government to develop Amaravati as the state capital as envisaged. The court also in its verdict on March 3, 2022 said the state Legislature lacked competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital.
The state government filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court Order.
The High Court also set timelines for the development of Amaravati.
Several ministers have been categorically saying that the government would come up with a new Bill on the three capitals issue, the ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court notwithstanding.
With inputs from News18