Visakhapatnam, a port and industrial city brimming with cosmopolitan culture has been in the news ever since Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's government announced that it would be the new capital of the state.
In his address at the preparatory meeting for the Global Investors Summit in Delhi, Jagan Reddy on Tuesday said the state capital will be shifted to Visakhapatnam and he also would be relocating his office to the port city in the months to come.
According to Vizag port website, the city, which is home to the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command had trade relations with the Middle East and Rome during ancient times and in 1682 it became a settlement of a branch of East India Company.
The Visakhapatnam Port was formally inaugurated by Lord Willingdon, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India on December 19, 1933.
The city shot into limelight after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi laid foundation stone for a Steel Plant which was dedicated to the nation by former PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 after the facility started production.
According to a study by Andhra University, the population of Vizag will grow to 30 lakh by 2035 from 23.5 lakh in 2021.
In March last year, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had ruled against the proposal to establish three capitals in the state and directed the YSRC government to develop Amaravati as the state capital as envisaged.
The Court had also in its verdict on March 3, 2022 said the state Legislature lacked competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital.
The state government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court order.
The announcement that Visakhapatnam, nicknamed "City of Destiny," would be the new state capital, has elicited mixed response from different sections of people in the city.
Former chairman of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) Visakhapatnam chamber GV Satyanarayana hailed Jagan's announcement.
GV Satyanarayana said Visakhapatnam is a cosmopolitan city with all necessary infrastructure and it is a good decision of the AP government.
"Visakhapatnam has necessary infrastructure like international airport, road and port connectivity which is important for the capital city," he told PTI.
He further said the real estate industry will have a good future once the capital is established in Visakhapatnam.
EAS Sharma, a retired IAS officer and former Secretary to Government of India, said he would welcome decentralisation in terms of devolution of political authority.
"It (making Vizag as capital) would place enormous burden on Vizag citizens. It will create water shortage and increase pollution and it will also increase rents," he opined.
President of Visakhapatnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Pydah Krishna Prasad said the city is well-developed and is best suited to become a capital.
"The industrialists who want to invest normally will look for facilities in the region... Vizag had no such problem as the city has all facilities and a well-developed area and one of the biggest in Andhra Pradesh" he said.
An auto driver rued that people's problems will not be solved by establishing a capital, whereas it will further enhance it in terms of traffic congestion.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)