We are blessed with plenty of natural resources and tapping them properly can ensure all-round development of the State, BJP A.P. president and Visakhapatnam MP-elect K. Haribabu said.
The State has a 970 km coastline and steps must be taken to tap into its potential, he said speaking to The Hindu here on Sunday. Even as a stream of visitors made a beeline for his residence to congratulate him in person on his election as MP by defeating YSR Congress honorary president Y.S. Vijayalakshmi with a comprehensive 90,000 plus votes, the former professor of engineering, former president of the Federation of Indian Fishery Industries and businessman spoke at length on the issues facing the State and the nation.
The governments coming up in the State under Chandrababu Naidu and the Centre under Narendra Modi are proactive and can be expected to have policies that will encourage investment in the State, Mr. Haribabu said and promised to follow up the State’s issues with the ministries at the Centre.
One of the immediate priorities for the State will be the establishment of a State Maritime Board to help realise the immense potential offered by the long coastline. We have on paper 14 major and minor ports but in reality, only four – Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada and Krishnapatnam – are functional. We need to develop the rest of the ports; Gujarat has 34 ports and we can easily have 14 ports. The cost of development of these ports could be shared with some of the landlocked States which could be given exclusive rights over its operations, he explained. Further, there is tremendous scope for development of coastal shipping, a thorough study of its users should be made to promote it. I am an advocate of the use of inland waterways and will take it up with the concerned ministries to make the National Waterway-4 fully functional at the earliest, he said.
Post-bifurcation, A.P. will be a power surplus State and combined with a slew of concessions for industries being offered under a package by the Centre, it will see a lot of investment. With a proactive government coming to power in both the Centre and the State there is a lot of scope for industrialisation in the State. The government must take steps to attract major IT players to invest in the State, Mr. Haribabu said.