‘The city is ideally located, and its greatest strength is its peace-loving people’

District Collector V. Seshadri on Wednesday called for promoting Brand Vizag to transform the city into a vibrant industrial hub.

“We have several opportunities and challenges. We can overcome them through proper dialogue, cooperation and coordination,” he said when Confederation of Indian Industry members expressed anguish at the city not finding a place among top 50 cities in a survey conducted by a reputed news magazine.

He was speaking at a discussion on ‘Visakhapatnam moving forward: Challenges & opportunities’ conducted by Visakhapatnam zone of CII’s Annual Day.

Mr. Seshadri said Visakhapatnam had the location advantage and its greatest strength was its peace-loving people. It had an excellent record in law and order with lush-green hillocks, sun-kissed beaches and readymade infrastructure.

Problems like power, land and pollution could be overcome in course of time, he stated.

CII AP Chairperson and Joint Managing Director of Biotech International Ltd Suchitra Ella said CII was trying to revive economic growth notwithstanding the challenges posed by global recession.

She said IT units in Visakhapatnam achieved a landmark by crossing export turnover of Rs.1,000-crore mark in 2011 and pointed out that the city had a bright future due to availability of English-speaking workforce. There was good scope for agro and marine-based food processing units, she said and hoped that PCPIR project would become operational soon.

Commissioner of Police B. Shivadhar Reddy said traffic woes in the city could be eased by a large extent if a bypass road was developed from Anandapuram to Anakapalle, to divert vehicles passing on the highway in city limits. RINL Director (Commercial) T.K. Chand said Brand Vizag had been evoking good response in South and South-East Asia and described how Vizag had the potential to grow as Singapore of India due to its rich hinterland, connectivity and strategic location.

He said RINL itself was investing $8 billion in next four to five years.

CII Vizag chairman G. Sambasiva Rao said both Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram ports put together were handling 90 million tonne per annum and the throughput handled by them would double by 2016-17.

He expressed concern at lack of parking terminals for trucks and busses and referred to road congestion at Kurmannapalem and Nathayyapalem due to parking on the road.

He said what the city needed immediately was developing huge parking lots including multi-layer parking complexes.

CII zonal vice-chairman and Visakhapatnam Port Deputy Chairman G.V.L. Satya Kumar said the problem of pollution would come to an end once complete mechanisation was achieved by 2014. CII former chairman R.V.S. Raju presided.

More In: Visakhapatnam