Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag, Viśākha or Wāltair)[5] is the executive capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is also the most populated and largest city of Andhra Pradesh.[6] It lies between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal.[7][8] It is the third largest city in the east coast of India after Chennai and Kolkata and the fourth largest city in South India. It is one of the four smart cities of Andhra Pradesh selected under Smart Cities Mission.[9] Serving as the headquarters of its eponymous district, it is the most populous city in the state.[10][11][12] With an estimated output of $43.5 billion, the city is the ninth largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product as of 2016.[13][14] Visakhapatnam serves as the headquarters for the Eastern Naval Command.[15]

Visakhapatnam

Vizag, Vizagapatam, Waltair, Visakha
Vizag View from Kailasagiri.jpg
Vizag submarine museum.jpg
Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Simhachalam.jpg
Dolphins nose hill at Vizag.jpg
Kambalakonda wildlife sanctuary Landscape.jpg
From top, left to right: Skyline of Visakhapatnam, Maha Stupa at Thotlakonda, Simhachalam Temple, Dolphin Nose Hill, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nickname(s): 
The City of Destiny, The Jewel of the East Coast
Visakhapatnam is located in Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam is located in India
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam
Coordinates: 17°42′15″N 83°17′52″E / 17.70417°N 83.29778°E / 17.70417; 83.29778Coordinates: 17°42′15″N 83°17′52″E / 17.70417°N 83.29778°E / 17.70417; 83.29778
CountryIndia
StateAndhra Pradesh
DistrictVisakhapatnam
Incorporated (town)1865
Incorporated (city)1979
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyGVMC, VMRDA
 • MayorVacant
Area
 • Metropolis681.96 km2 (263.31 sq mi)
 • Metro
4,873 km2 (1,881 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Metropolis1,728,128
 • Rank17th
 • Density2,500/km2 (6,600/sq mi)
 • Metro5,018,000
Demonym(s)Vizagite ,Waltairodu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
530 0XX, 531 1XX
Telephone code+91-891
Vehicle registrationAP-31, AP-32, AP-33, AP-34 , AP-39
Official languagesTelugu
Websitewww.gvmc.gov.in

Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century BCE, when it was considered a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, and later ruled by the Vengi, the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties.[16] Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries with control over the city fluctuating between the Chola Dynasty and the Gajapati Kingdom,[17][18] until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century.[16] Conquered by the Mughals in the 16th century, European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French rule.[17][18] Control passed to the British Raj in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947.

The city is home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India.[19] Visakhapatnam Port is the fifth-busiest cargo port in India, and the city is home to the headquarters of the Indian Navy's Eastern Command and South Coast Railway zone. Visakhapatnam is a major tourist destination and is particularly known for its beaches.[20] It has been nicknamed the "City of Destiny" and the "Jewel of the East Coast".[11] It has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. As per the Swachhta Sarvekshan rankings of 2017, it was the third cleanest city in India in 2017.[21] It fell to 7th position in 2018[22] and to 23rd position in 2019.[23]

Etymology

The local belief behind the name of the city states, there was a king of 4th century, who on his pilgrimage halted at Lawson's Bay and built a temple dedicated to Vaisakha, which was submerged under the sea, but the name of the temple was got to the settlement. Other such names are, Kulotungapatnam, named by the Chola King Kulotuna I; Ishakapatnam, based on a Muslim Saint, Syed Ali Madani (Ishak Madani).[24][25] During the East India Company rule in India, the city was known with the name, Vizagapatam.[26] The suburb Waltair is another such name which was derived from the British colonial name.[11] "Vizagapatam" could also be spelled Visakhapatnam in the West European alphabet. Its shortened form, Vizag was used by the British administrators who were unable to pronounce its long name.[27] It is still referred to as Vizag by locals too, however since independence, people have reverted to calling it by its Indian name of Visakhapatnam.[24]

History

Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century B.C.E. and the city finds mention in ancient texts such as the 4th century B.C.E. writings of Pāṇini and Katyayana. Historically considered part of the Kalinga region,[17][18] it was ruled by the Vengi kingdom and the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties during medieval times.[16] Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries C.E. by the Chola Dynasty king Kulothunga I. Control over the city fluctuated between the Chola Dynasty of Tamil Nadu and the Gajapati Kingdom of Odisha[17][18] until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century.[16] In the 16th century it was conquered by the Mughals. European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city and Visakhapatnam came under French rule at the end of the 18th century.[17][18]

The city was ruled by the Andhra Kings of Vengi and Pallavas. The city is named after Sri Visakha Varma. Legend has it that Radha and Viśakha were born on the same day and were equally beautiful. Sri Visakka Sakhi is the second most important gopi of the eight main gopis. She carries messages between Radha and Krishna and is the most expert gopi messenger. Local residents believe that an Andhra king built a temple to pay homage to his family deity Viśakha. This is now inundated under sea water near R K Beach. Another theory is that it is named after a woman disciple of Buddha named Viśakha. Later it was ruled by Qutb Shahis, Mughal Empire (between 1689 and 1724), Nizam (1724–1757) and France (1757–1765) before being captured by the British in 1765. European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city and Visakhapatnam came under French rule at the end of the 18th century.[17][18]

The British captured Visakhapatnam after the 1804 Battle of Vizagapatam and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947 which was a part of the Northern Circars.

Buddhist influence

Hindu texts state that during the fifth century BC, the Visakhapatnam region was part of Kalinga territory, which extended to the Godavari River. Relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of its time, which prompted Ashoka to embrace Buddhism. Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently and illustrate the legacy of Buddhism in the region.[citation needed]

Pavurallakonda

 
Yaksha Relief at Pavurallakonda near Bheemunipatnam

Pavurallakonda ("pigeon hill") is a hillock west of Bhimli, about 24 km (15 mi) from Visakhapatnam. The Buddhist settlement found here is estimated to date back from the first century BC to the second century AD. On the hillock (which overlooks the coastline) are 16 rock-cut cisterns for collecting rainwater. Gopalapatnam, on the Tandava River, is a village surrounded by brick stupas, viharas, pottery and other Buddhist artefacts.[28]

Sankaram

 
Stone seated Buddha at Bojjannakonda near Anakapalle

In 1907 British archaeologist Alexander Rea unearthed Sankaram, a 2,000-year-old Buddhist site. The name "Śankaram" derives from the Sangharama (temple or monastery). Located 40 km (25 mi) south of Visakhapatnam, it is known locally as Bojjannakonda and is a significant Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh. The three major schools of Buddhism (Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) flourished here. The complex is known for its monolithic stupas, rock-cut caves and brick structures. The primary stupa was initially carved out of rock and covered with bricks. Excavations yielded historic pottery and Satavahana coins from the first century AD. At Lingalakonda, there are also rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows spread over the hill. The vihara was active for about 1,000 years.[citation needed]

Nearby is another Buddhist site, Bojjannakonda, with a number of images of the Buddha carved on the rock face of the caves. At Ligalametta there are hundreds of rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows, spread across the hill. Among other Buddhist attractions are a relic casket, three chaitya halls, votive platforms, stupas and Vajrayana sculptures.[citation needed]

Bavikonda

 
Bavikonda stupas

Bavikonda is an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15 km, northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 16 ha flat terraced area. The Hinayana school of Buddhism was practised at the monastery between the 3rd century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. Bavikonda has remains of an entire Buddhist complex, comprising 26 structures belonging to three phases. A piece of bone stored in an urn recovered here is believed to belong to the mortal remains of the Buddha. The word Bavikonda in Telugu means "a hill of wells". Fitting its name, Bavikonda is a hill with wells for the collection of rainwater. It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) from Visakhapatnam and is a significant Buddhist site. Excavation carried out from 1982 to 1987 revealed a Buddhist establishment including a mahachaitya embedded with relic caskets,[clarification needed] a large vihara complex, numerous votive stupas, a stone-pillared congregation and rectangular halls and a refectory. Artifacts recovered from the site include Roman and Satavahana coins and pottery dating from the third century BC to the second century AD. A significant finding was a piece of bone (with a large quantity of ash) in an urn, which is believed to be the remains of the Buddha. The Bavikonda site is considered one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Asia. It is a reminder of the Buddhist civilisation which once existed in southern India, and also reminiscent of Borobudur in Indonesia.[29]

Thotlakonda

 
Third-century BC Buddhist ruins of Totlakonda

About 16 km (9.9 mi) from Visakhapatnam is Thotlakonda, a Buddhist complex situated on top of a hill. The Buddhist complex on the Mangamaripeta hilltop, locally known as Totlakonda, lies about 16 km from Visakhapatnam on Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road. After its discovery (during an aerial survey), the Government of Andhra Pradesh declared the 48 ha site as a protected monument in 1978. Excavations in 1988 to 1992 exposed structural remains and artefacts, classified as Religious, Secular and Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways. The site covers an area of 120 acres (49 hectares), and has been declared a protected area by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Excavations have revealed three kinds of structural remains: religious, secular and civil. Structures include a mahastupa, sixteen votive stupas, a stone-pillared congregation hall, eleven rock-cut cisterns, well-paved stone pathways, an apsidal chaitya-griha, three round chaitgya-grihas, two votive platforms, ten viharas and a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory (dining hall). Apart from the structures, Buddhist treasures excavated include nine Satavahana and five Roman silver coins, terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, Buddha padas depicted with ashtamangala symbols (i.e. the eight auspicious symbols of Swastika, Shrivasta, Nandhyavarta, Vardhamanaka, Bhadrasana, Kalasha, Minyugala and Darpan) and early pottery.[30]

Later history

The territory of Visakhapatnam then came under the Andhra rulers of Vengi, and Chalukyas and Pallavas ruled the land. The region was ruled by the Eastern Ganga king- SuryaVamsa Kshatriyas and the Gajapati kings of Odisha from the 10th century to the 16th centuries AD (when the region came under the Visakhapatnam rulers). Based on archaeological evidence, the Prabhakar and the Eastern Ganga Kings of Odisha built temples in the city in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Mughals ruled the area under the Visakhapatnam Nizam during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. European merchants from France, Holland and the East India Company used the natural port to export tobacco, paddy, coal, iron ore, ivory, muslin and other textile products.

Local legend tells that an Andhra king, on his way to Benares, rested at Visakhapatnam and was so enchanted by its beauty that he ordered a temple to be built in honour of his family deity, Viśakha. Archaeological sources, however, reveal that the temple was probably built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the Cholas. A shipping merchant, Sankarayya Chetty, built one of the mandapams (pillared halls) of the temple. Although it no longer exists (possibly washed away about 100 years ago by a cyclonic storm), elderly residents of Visakhapatnam remember visits to the ancient shrine by their grandparents (although author Ganapatiraju Atchuta Rama Raju denies this).[31]

During the 18th century Visakhapatnam was part of the Northern Circars, a region comprising coastal Andhra and southern coastal Odisha which was first under French control and later British. Visakhapatnam became a district in the Madras Presidency of British India. In September 1804, British and French squadrons fought the naval Battle of Vizagapatam near the harbour. After India's independence it was the largest district in the country and was subsequently divided into the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.

Part of the city is known by its colonial British name, Waltair; during the colonial era, the city's hub was the Waltair railway station and a part of the city is still called Waltair.

On 7 May 2020, the city suffered an industrial accident when a polymer plant leaked toxic styrene gas, as it restarted operations after the Coronavirus lockdown. This gas leak killed at least eleven people, and drew comparisons to the Bhopal disaster.[32]

Geography

 
Kondakarla Ava, a bird sanctuary near Visakhapatnam

The city is situated between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal.[7] The city coordinates lies between 17.7041 N and 83.2977 E.[3][4]

Climate

Visakhapatnam has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw).[4] The annual mean temperatures ranges between 24.7–30.6 °C (76–87 °F), with the maximum in the month of May and the minimum in January; the minimum temperatures ranges between 20–27 °C (68–81 °F). The highest maximum temperature ever recorded was 42.0 °C (107.6 °F) in 1978, and the lowest was 20.0 °C (68 °F) in 1904. It receives rainfall from the South-west and North-east monsoons[4] and the average annual rainfall recorded is 1,118.8 mm (44.05 in).[33]

Climate data for Visakhapatnam Airport (1981–2010, extremes 1901–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.8
(94.6)
38.4
(101.1)
40.0
(104.0)
40.5
(104.9)
45.0
(113.0)
45.4
(113.7)
41.4
(106.5)
38.8
(101.8)
38.2
(100.8)
37.2
(99.0)
35.0
(95.0)
34.0
(93.2)
45.4
(113.7)
Average high °C (°F) 29.5
(85.1)
31.6
(88.9)
34.2
(93.6)
35.4
(95.7)
36.3
(97.3)
35.4
(95.7)
33.4
(92.1)
33.0
(91.4)
33.0
(91.4)
32.3
(90.1)
30.9
(87.6)
29.5
(85.1)
32.9
(91.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.8
(74.8)
25.9
(78.6)
28.8
(83.8)
30.7
(87.3)
31.9
(89.4)
31.5
(88.7)
29.8
(85.6)
29.6
(85.3)
29.4
(84.9)
28.5
(83.3)
26.3
(79.3)
23.9
(75.0)
28.3
(82.9)
Average low °C (°F) 18.4
(65.1)
20.5
(68.9)
23.7
(74.7)
26.3
(79.3)
27.8
(82.0)
27.8
(82.0)
26.7
(80.1)
26.3
(79.3)
26.1
(79.0)
24.9
(76.8)
22.0
(71.6)
18.8
(65.8)
24.1
(75.4)
Record low °C (°F) 10.5
(50.9)
12.8
(55.0)
14.4
(57.9)
18.3
(64.9)
20.0
(68.0)
21.1
(70.0)
21.3
(70.3)
21.1
(70.0)
17.5
(63.5)
17.6
(63.7)
12.9
(55.2)
11.3
(52.3)
10.5
(50.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 10.5
(0.41)
12.1
(0.48)
11.4
(0.45)
21.8
(0.86)
63.0
(2.48)
117.6
(4.63)
130.4
(5.13)
157.8
(6.21)
202.1
(7.96)
209.3
(8.24)
87.9
(3.46)
7.9
(0.31)
1,031.7
(40.62)
Average rainy days 0.9 0.9 0.6 1.5 3.4 6.4 8.8 8.4 9.8 8.1 3.4 0.9 53.0
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 63 62 63 67 68 67 71 73 76 73 66 63 68
Mean monthly sunshine hours 272.8 271.2 272.8 264.0 251.1 135.0 130.2 133.3 168.0 229.4 228.0 269.7 2,625.5
Mean daily sunshine hours 8.8 9.6 8.8 8.8 8.1 4.5 4.2 4.3 5.6 7.4 7.6 8.7 7.2
Source 1: India Meteorological Department (sun 1971–2000)[34][35][36]
Source 2: Tokyo Climate Center (mean temperatures 1981–2010)[37]

In October 2014 Cyclone Hudhud made landfall near Visakhapatnam.[38]

Demographics

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 population density was 18,480/km2 (47,900/sq mi). There were 164,129 children in the age group of 0–6 years, with 84,298 boys and 79,831 girls, – a sex ratio was 947 girls per 1000 boys. The average literacy rate stood at 81.79% with a total of 1,279,137 literates, of which 688,678 were males and 590,459 were fermales.[39][40] Visakhapatnam is ranked 122 in the list of fastest-growing cities in the world.[41] The total slum population covers 44.61% of the total population which implies 770,971 people reside in slums.[42]

The population crossed two million mark after expansion of the city limits and stands at 2,035,922.[43]

Language and religion

Religions in Visakhapatnam (2011)

source: Visakhapatnam city Census 2011 data
Hinduism
92.32%
Islam
3.85%
Christianity
3.07%
Others
0.76%

Languages in Visakhapatnam (2011)

Source: Languages in Visakhapatnam - Census 2011 data

  Telugu (92.72%)
  Urdu (2.52%)
  Hindi (2.15%)
  Odia (1.00%)
  Others (1.61%)

Telugu is the official and the most predominantly spoken language by the native speakers.[44][45] Two dialects of Telugu are spoken by the people, the common dialect and the Uttarandhra (North Eastern Andhra) dialect. The latter is mainly spoken by the people who originally belong to the districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.[46] A cosmopolitan population of Visakhapatnam comprises Tamils,[47][48] Malayalis,[49][50] Sindhis,[51] Kannadigas,[52][53] Odias,[54] Bengalis, and Bihari migrants from other regions of India.[55][56] There is also an Anglo-Indian community, regarded as the first cosmopolitans of the city.[57]

According to 2011 census, Telugu is the most spoken language in the city, with 92.72% speakers, followed by Urdu (2.52%), Hindi (2.15%), Odia (1.00%), Tamil (0.33%), Malayalam (0.32%), and Bengali (0.31%).[58]

Hinduism is practised by the majority of its citizens, followed by Islam and Christianity. The area practised Buddhism in the ancient past, as evidenced by the many Buddhist sangharamas in the outlying areas but the population of Buddhists has waned, with approximately 0.03% population in the entire city based on the recent census.[59]

Government and politics

Civic Administration

Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is the civic body that oversees the civic needs of the city.[60] One of the earliest municipalities in this area, the Vizag(Visakhapatnam) Municipality was set up in 1858 to fulfill the basic infrastructural needs of the people. It was converted into a municipal corporation in 1979. Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation came into existence on November. 21, 2005 after the release of G.O by Govt of Andhra Pradesh.[61]

It has a jurisdictional area of 681.96 km2 (263.31 sq mi),[62] which includes the merged municipalities of Gajuwaka, Anakapalle and Bheemunipatnam.[43][63] Although as per the 2011 census it is 513.61 sq km mentioned in the district town amenities hand book of Andhra Pradesh, portraying a rise in area covered by the Municipal corporation in these years[64]

The municipal corporation of Vishakapatnam is governed by three acts. First is the State Municipal Act, the Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act 1965, Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations 1994 Act, as well as an act specific to Vishakapatnam Municipal Corporation Act 1979.[65][66]

The city is divided into 9 zones, In a recent agglomeration of five Bheemili villages with a population of 19,000 into the GVMC jurisdiction the number of wards has increased to 98.[67]

Municipal elections and civic government officials

The previous Municipal Elections were held in 2007. After a larger gap of 13 years the elections were scheduled to happen on 23rd March 2020.[68] The results of the latest municipal elections for 145 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations across Andhra Pradesh were held on March 30 and the results were announced on Monday. Of the 92 municipalities in Seemandhra, TDP won 65 municipalities and YSR Congress nineteen. Of the seven municipal corporations, TDP bagged five and YSR Congress two.[69]

The City governance structure of GVMC consists of an elected wing headed by the Mayor and administrative wing headed by the Administrative Commissioner,  4 Additional commissioners, and 8 zonal commissioners. Mayor elections were planned to be carried out in the month of March, 2020 but details are yet to be declared.[70] The present municipal commissioner of the city is G Srijana. The municipal commissioner looks after the administration of the municipal corporation.[71]

The executive wing has departments for Engineering, Public health, revenue, town planning, horticulture, education, finance, general administration, projects, IT E governance and Urban Community Development.[72]

The organisational structure of the GVMC includes standing committees, ward committees and special committees, The corporation wards committees must be of not less than ten wards, special committees are appointed by the corporation out of their own body, and a standing committee consisting of chairpersons from all wards.[73]

Municipal budget

The GVMC estimates a budget of Rs 4,171 crore (including an opening balance of Rs 149 crore) for the financial year 2020-21. It shows an increase of Rs 337 crore to the last budget for 2019-20.[74] The Revenue Department of GVMC generates its revenue by levying of Property Tax, Vacant Land Tax and it is collection and dealing with Remunerative Enterprises, Water Charges etc.[75]

Masterplan

In 2019, the Planning wing of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) started preparing a ‘perspective plan’ which is a 30-year strategic plan, apart from the master plan 2041.[76] Output of this perspective plan is expected to include provisions for resource conservation, regional growth, economic growth and transportation strategies, coastal zone regulations, disaster management strategies, ‘population forecast and distribution’, broad structure plan, and implementation plan.[77]

District Administration

The district area is 11161 sq km. The Sub-Division is divided into Mandals. Visakhapatnam District Consists of 43 Mandals. Mandal is headed by Tahsildar.[78] It also has one Municipal Corporation and two Municipalities. There are four revenue divisions in this district. [79]A Revenue division is headed by Revenue Divisional Officer in the rank  of Sub – Collector in Cadre of I.A.S or a Deputy Collector. He is the Sub Divisional Magistrate having jurisdiction over his division.[80]

Law and Order

Law and order in the city is dealt by Visakhapatnam City Police, equipped with a Police Commissionerate with Commissioner of Police as the head and with assisted by three deputy commissioners for different zones.[81] The current City Police Commissioner is Mr. Manish Kumar Sinha.[82] Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) is an urban planning agency that covers the GVMC and its suburbs covering, two corporations, one municipality, one nagar panchayat and 895 villages from two districts of Viskhapatnam and Vizianagaram.[83][63] The expanded area of the city, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region extends to 4,873 km2 (1,881 sq mi) with a population of 50,18,000 (Western: 59,18,000) and is under the administration of Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority.[84][85][2]

The District & Sessions Court are located in Vishakapatnam city and it also includes family courts.

Legislative Assembly

The current MP of Vishakhapatnam is Mr. M. V. V. Satyanarayana, who is from the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party.[86] He become an MP in the year 2019.[87][88]

In the legislative elections Mr. Ganesh Kumar of TDP was elected to the Assembly from Visakhapatnam South[89] segment in 2014 and 2019 polls.[90] For Vizag East Mr. Ramakrishna Babu Velgapudi was elected.[91] For Vizag; Vizag North Ganta Srinivasa Rao and for Vizag west P.G.V.R Naidu was elected. All elected belonged to TDP.[92] [93]The current Lok Sabha Elective Vishakhapatnam is Mr. M. V. V. Satyanarayana.[94][95] While all the MLAs are from the TRS party, the incumbent MP is from YSR.

Civic utilities

The Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APEPDCL) supplies power to the city of Visakhapatnam.[96] The fire services in the city of Vishakpatnam is carried out by the state fire department, the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Department, Eastern region (AP Fire). [97]

The city water supply is essentially stored in the three service reservoirs – Town Service Reservoir, Dwarakanagar; High Level Service Reservoir, T.B. Road, Uplands and Circuit House Reservoir, Waltair Uplands.[98] The city is divided into 14 blocks according to contours and each block is served by separate reservoirs. There are 35 reservoirs serving the different segments of the system. Domestic water supply is mainly through public taps and house service connections.[99]

There are about 2072 bore wells as ground water sources. As per a report from 2015, "GVMC relies mostly on surface water for its raw water supply and serves 54.9 percent of the city through household-level piped connections. There is a supply gap of almost 66 million liters per day (MLD)[100]

Only 50 per cent of the city has access to underground drainage. This is after the city grew over the last decade and Bheemili and Anakapalli among other peripheral villages came under the GVMC's jurisdiction. [101] The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has taken up a project to extend the underground drainage network with a budget of Rs 10 crore. The new project will provide underground drainage access to 8,000 households. The network will be built under the command area of pumping stations at Venkata Puram and Vimannagar and its vicinity.[102]

In the year 2015, the municipal corporation generates 920 tons of waste per day (DPR on MSW). Waste generated from all the wards is disposed at the dumpsite in Kapuluppada since 2007 (IJAR).[103]

Economy

 
Vizag steel plant entrance

Visakhapatnam is one of the 100 fastest growing cities in the world,[104] which has a GDP of $43.5 billion. It is the 10th richest city in India. The usual seafood exporting capacity of the harbour is 115,000 tonnes (127,000 short tons)[105] and during the FY 2015, it topped seafood exports in terms of value among other ports.[106] Visakhapatnam Port and Gangavaram Port are the two ports of the city and the former one topped charts which handled 60,000,000 tonnes (66,000,000 short tons) of cargo during the financial year 2016–17.[107] The Hindustan Shipyard undertakes building and repairing of Naval fleet and has future orders of 20 billion (US$280 million).[108]

Information technology The growth in the IT sector in the recent times boosting the local economy.[109] In 2016–17, the IT industry in Vizag witnessed an increase in its turnover which recorded as 54 billion (US$760 million) with more than 350 firms,[110] in contrast to 2013–14 figures of 14.5 billion (US$200 million).[111] Sunrise Startup Village, an incubation centre;[112] Fintech Valley Vizag were established to promote visakhapatnam as Global Financial-Tech (Fintech) Capital in the Andhra Pradesh state.[113][114] Millennium IT Towers 1 is inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu on 15 Feb 2019 and Millennium IT Towers 2 is in pipeline to promote fintech investments in the city.[115]

There are many national and multi–national IT/ITes and fintech firms such as IBM, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Kenexa, Infotech, Conduent, Cyient, Paytm, Concentrix, Sutherland, HSBC, etc. Some more investments are in line, like Google x, Lalith Ahuja's ANSR Consulting, Franklin Templeton, Innova Solutions, etc. at Fintech Valley in the city.[116][117] The Brandix India Apparel City is the largest textile park in the country and holds the record for employing more than 15,000 women employees at a single location.[118]

Pharma Industries: The Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) developed at Parawada near Visakhapatnam in 2,400 acres has major pharma companies like, Hospira, Mylan, Eisai, Reddy's Lab, Aurobindo Pharma, Torrent pharma, Divis Lab, etc.[119][120][121] Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone Limited, is the India's first Ultra Modern Medical Equipment Manufacturing & Testing Facility, open to Manufacturers & Innovators.[122]

The prevalence of ferroalloy plants is due to the availability of manganese ore near Visakhapatnam. Aluminium refineries such as Anrak Aluminium and Jindal Aluminium are developing because of the bauxite reserves around the city.[123] Visakhapatnam is a part of the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. The PCPIR is expected to generate 1.2 million jobs and require a projected investment of 400 billion (US$5.6 billion).[124] Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant of NTPC Limited is expanding from 1,000 to 2,000 MW at a cost of 50 billion (US$701 million). Hindujas has begun construction of a 1,070 MW thermal power plant in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of 70 billion (US$981 million).[125] NTPC is establishing 4×1,000 MW imported coal-based thermal power plant in Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, which will come up at an investment of 200 billion (US$2.8 billion). Approximately 50 million (US$700,000) outlay is needed for generation of one megawatt thermal power.[126]

[127]

Cityscape

Visakhapatanam city skyline as seen from Kailasagiri
 
INS Kursura (S20)
 
City scape from beach road near tenneti park

Neighbourhoods

Over the years, Visakhapatnam has turned from a fishing village into a commercial city with busy streets. Most notable areas of the city include urban areas like Allipuram, Arilova, Asilmetta, Dwaraka Nagar, Gajuwaka, Gopalapatnam, Jagadamba Centre, Lawsons Bay Colony, Maddilapalem, Madhurawada, MVP Colony, Rushikonda, Seethammadhara, Siripuram and semi-rural suburbs such as Anakapalle, Bheemunipatnam, Duvvada, Parawada, Pendurthi and Thagarapuvalasa .

Landmarks

Visakhapatnam is one of the main tourism destinations in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is famous for beaches, caves and the Eastern Ghats as well as wildlife sanctuaries. About 30% of the city is covered with greenery.[128]

Major landmarks in the city include Dolphin's Nose, lighthouse, Kailasagiri, Beach Road, VMRDA Park, Visakha Museum and Matsyadarsini (an aquarium). The INS Kursura Submarine Museum and Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraftTU 142 Aircraft Museum opposite to each other is the only of its kind in the world, conceptualizing the hunted and hunter of the wars.[129][130] Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in the city has variety of wildlife species. Erra Matti Dibbalu (Red sand dunes) are situated between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam are one of the geo-heritage sites in the country. This tourist spot is now protected and preserved as a heritage site.[131] Dr Ramanaidu Film Studio in 33 acres space off the Visakha-Bhimili beach road is one of the film shootings destination. Telugu Samskruthika Niketanam on atop Kailasagiri was developed by World Telugu Federation and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority,[132] Vuda City Central Park .[133] Adding one more feather to its cap, Visakhapatnam is home to India's tallest musical fountain opened in the central park. Oscillating vertically at 360 degrees, the fountain dances to the tune of digital music in different colors.[134]

Beaches along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal include RK Beach, Rushikonda Beach and Mangamaripeta Beach. Others are Yarada, Bheemili, Lawson's Bay, Tenneti, Sagar Nagar, Thotlakonda and Gangavaram beaches.[135] Borra Caves are caves discovered by British geologist William King in 1807.[136] Tyda (an Eco tourism project), Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary under Andhra Pradesh Forest Department are wildlife conservation sites near the city.[130]

Culture

 
Simhachalam Temple

Poets, artists Some of the notable poets from the city include Sri Sri, Gollapudi Maruti Rao, Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry.

Religious worships

Some of the religious sites are also of great importance like Simhachalam temple of Lord Narasimha 16 km (9.9 mi) north of the city,[137][138] and Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Temple. Recent archaeological excavations of Buddhist shrines revealed Buddhist dominance in this area and these are recognised as heritage sites that include Boudharamam, Saligudam, Sankaram and Devipuram etc.

Transport

 
Visakhapatnam Metro Express Highway Service at Kurmanapalem
 
Visakhapatnam railway station

The city commuters prefer city buses and auto rickshaws as the primary mode of transport, followed by two-wheelers and cars.[139] Road and rail are preferred for long-distance commuting and are supported by Dwaraka bus station and Visakhapatnam railway station respectively.[140][141] It also has sea and air travel infrastructure such as, Visakhapatnam Port[142] and Visakhapatnam Airport.[143]

The APSRTC Visakhapatnam Region operates city, district and inter-state bus services from Dwaraka bus station.[144] Over 600 city buses operate over 150 routes, in addition to Bus Rapid Transit System in two corridors of Pendurthi and Simhachalam.[139]:21 A planned Integrated Bus Terminal Complex would be built at Maddilapalem.[145] Apart from buses, there are about 25,000 auto rickshaws plying on the city roads which provide intermediate public transport.[139]:22

Visakhapatnam is the headquarters of South Coast Railway zone of Indian railways. Visakhapatnam railway station is as an A1 station[146] with the highest gross revenue in the Waltair railway division.[147] It serves an average of 20,000–25,000 passengers daily and may rise up to 40,000 during festivals.[141] It has the country's largest diesel locomotive shed with a capacity of 206.[148] Visakhapatnam Metro is a planned metro rail project.[149]

 
Visakhapatnam Airport Terminal

As of 2013, the percentage of transport mode shares in the city are, 18% buses, 9% autos, 15% two wheelers, 2% cars and 55% non-motorised transport (bicycles and pedestrians).[139]:23 The total road network accounts for a total length of 2,007.10 km (1,247.15 mi).[150] NH16, a major highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system bypasses the city. During the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Visakhapatnam Airport (IATA: VTZ, ICAO: VOTZ) had served a total of 2,358,029 passengers, an increase of 30.7% from previous year.[151] It handled 19,550 aircraft including 1,421 international and 18,129 domestic.[152]

Visakhapatnam Port is one of 13 major ports in India and the only major port of Andhra Pradesh. It is India's second-largest port by volume of cargo handled. It is located on the east coast of India and is located midway between the Chennai and Kolkata Ports. Cruise shipping is operational between Visakhapatnam and Andaman and Nicobar islands. [153]

Education

 
St Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School (SAS) established in 1847 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state.[154][155] As per the school information report for the academic year 2016–17, urban Visakhapatnam had 1,44,268 (Western: 144,268) students[156] enrolled in 434 schools.[157] The Central Board of Secondary Education, Secondary School Certificate or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education are the different types of syllabus followed by different schools. The medium of instruction followed by schools are English and Telugu.[158] The St. Aloysius Anglo Indian Boys High School is the oldest school in the city to have established in the year 1847.[159] The Visakhapatnam District Central Library is supported by the government and is located at Dwaraka Nagar.[160][161]

There are tens of junior colleges under Government, Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential and private undertakings.[162] Andhra University is the only autonomous college approved under Universities Grant Commission scheme.[163] Mrs. A. V. N. College is one of the oldest educational institution in the city.[136]:35

The GITAM University and the Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering are other technical-education institutions in the city. Visakhapatnam is also home to Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, which is the National Law University for the state of Andhra Pradesh. DSNLU takes entrance through Common Law Admission Test and ranks 15th by order of establishment among the 17 National Law Universities. Vizag is due to get India's First Packaging park[164] with an Indian Institute of Packaging, IIP[165] and BITS Pilani & Birla International School under the aegis of Sarala Birla Academy.[166]

The Indian Maritime University was established as a central university by the government of India by an act of Parliament (the Indian Maritime University Act 2008). IMU is poised to play a role in the development of human resources for the maritime sector. Visakhapatnam also has the National Institute of Oceanography. The Indian Institute of Management,[167] Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy[168] are the other institutions of national importance.

Defence and research

Naval base

 
Naval warship

Visakhapatnam is the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (a DRDO Lab), a Chief Quality Assurance Establishment (CQAE), an EFS office, a Naval Dockyard (established in 1949) and Naval Bases including INS Virbahu, INS Karna, INS Kalinga, INS Samudrika, INS Satavahana, and INS Dega. A new base at INS Rambilli is being built on 5,000 acres (20 km2) with an investment of 15 billion (US$210 million), as the first dedicated submarine base in India. India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was launched in the Naval Dockyard, and Bharat Dynamics has begun manufacturing torpedoes. Visakhapatnam also has presence of the Indian Coast Guard including ships and offices. Multiple naval training establishments, such as the Navy ShipWright School,[169] are also situated here.

Research organisations

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) plans its second research facility in the country (after Trombay) in the area.[170] There are also offices of the National Institute of Oceanography and the India Meteorological Department.

Sports

 
Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium at Madhurawada
 
ENC Cricket Team which won the VDCA Institutional League Cricket Championship 2015–16

Cricket is the most popular sport, followed by tennis and football. Visakhapatnam is home to a number of local cricket teams participating in district and zonal matches. Gully cricket (a form of cricket played in streets or parks) is a popular sport among local youth. Visakhapatnam co-hosted the 32nd National Games alongside Hyderabad in 2002. The city has seven cricket stadiums, which are used for Ranji Trophy matches; two of these stadiums have been used for one day international matches. Indira Priyadarshini Stadium, also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last ODI on 3 April 2001. The stadium has been discontinued in favour of the new Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium in Madhurawada.

Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium is the home of Andhra Cricket Association. It regularly hosts Ranji Trophy, One Day Internationals and Test Internationals. The stadium is the home ground of Andhra Pradesh cricket team. The stadium also hosted IPL matches as a neutral venue. It hosted its first test match against England beginning on 17 November 2016.

Port Trust Golden Jubilee Stadium is the second largest stadium in Visakhapatnam, which has hosted Under-19 Youth Internationals. It also hosted the 2014 Pro Kabaddi League season as the home ground for the Telugu Titans.[171]Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium, built by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, is used for various indoor sports,[172] and the GVMC Aqua Sports Complex, an aquatic centre for swimming and diving, is near the beach road.[173]

Surfing activities are common at the Rushikonda beach.[174] Scuba diving at Chintapalli in the scenic city has been attracting tourists from all over.[175]

Media

The Telugu dailies publishers in the city are Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy, Sakshi, Andhra Bhoomi, Andhra Prabha, Vaartha, Suryaa, Prajasakti and Visalaandhra. Apart from the local language, there are also English papers such as, The Hindu, The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu Business Line, The New Indian Express and The Hans India. While Most of the Newspapers in Andhra and All Over India were printed and circulated from here only.

FM stations in Vizag

Notable people born or associated with the city

See also

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Further reading

External links