Minister promises vision document for the city. He was also non-committal on the railway zone issue, but assured to take up the issue with the authorities concerned.

Education Minister of the first Cabinet of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh Ganta Srinivasa Rao promised to prepare a vision document for the city and make it a model city, but did not come clear on certain key issues.

Addressing a Meet the Press programme, organised by the Visakhapatnam Journalist Forum, here on Wednesday, he said that VUDA and GVMC will be involved in preparing a vision document targeting the next 50 years and the government will work towards making this city a model city in the lines of Singapore.

But he did not give any assurance whether this city would be made the capital city. He pointed out that it was up to the committee to take a decision. But he was fast to add that if capital city status was not given, Visakhapatnam would be made the financial or commercial capital of the state.

Mr. Srinivas Rao also did not give an assurance whether the Andhra University will be accorded the Central University status or the Andhra University College of Engineering will be upgraded to an IIT. “The Centre has to take a decision, but will pitch for it, since the issue is already pending with the Ministry of HRD,” he said.

He was also non-committal on the railway zone issue, but assured to take up the issue with the authorities concerned.

On the first Cabinet meeting to be held on Thursday at Andhra University, he informed that apart from discussing various issues related to the state, long-pending city-centric subjects such as the Simhachalam land issue, sanctioning of funds to the tune of Rs. 110 crores for strengthening up of the bunds of rivers such as Sarada, Tandava and Varaha and progress of VIMS (Visakha Institure of Medical Sciences) will be taken up in the cabinet meeting.

On other aspects pertaining to Visakhapatnam, Mr. Srinivasa Rao, said that projects such as PCPIR, outer ring road, BRTS, new Greenfield airport, ITIR and LNG will be expedited.

Referring to a question on bauxite issue, he said ‘development will be taken up without destruction and it will be taken up only after people give their consent’.

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