There is a need to counter the false propaganda, says URV
A section of the top political leaders, capitalists and lobbyists have ‘hatched a conspiracy’ to undermine the chances of Visakhapatnam becoming the capital in the event of bifurcation of the state, according to Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika (URV) president S. Shiva Sankar, secretary DVT Ganesh and Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao.
Various groups that have been working against the interests of north Andhra in general and Visakhapatnam in particular have stepped up their misinformation campaign against locating the capital in Visakhapatnam though it has emerged top contender for the capital in a recent survey at the national level. At a media conference here on Thursday they underlined the need to counter the false propaganda to keep the chances of Vizag as capital alive.
The major factors which work in favour of Visakhapatnam as the ideal capital are: the second largest city in the present state, one of the fastest growing cities in Asia, well developed city compared to many capital cities in the country and among the top 10 cities in India. A cosmopolitan mix of people from different parts of the country, well connected by rail, road, air and sea, one of the major cities on the east coast, connected by National Highway – 16 (previously NH-5), a major highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system of Indian Highways, connecting Chennai and Kolkata.
Countering the negative propaganda of vested interests which were out to mar the prospects of Vizag as the best alternative to locate the capital, they said that the apprehension that land was not available in Vizag was not true. Land alienated for several big projects, which never took off could be used for providing facilities for the new capital. They felt that location of the capital in Visakhapatnam would not only reduce financial burden on government with the existing infrastructure in the city but also it would give a fillip to one of the most backward regions of the country, North Andhra, comprising Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts.
Mr. C.S. Rao said that a separate railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam should also be set up as East Coast Railway with its headquarters in Bhubaneswar was only interested in developing Odisha only while neglecting its ‘bread winner’ (Waltair Division).
They appealed to the Government of India to consider Vizag as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh in the event of bifurcation of the state.