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Visakhapatnam: 7 things to know about new Andhra Pradesh capital

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash
Jan 31, 2023 03:40 PM IST

The largest and most populous city in Andhra Pradesh, it is also the second largest city on the east coast of India.

Nine years after Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced on Tuesday at the International Diplomatic Alliance meeting in New Delhi that Visakhapatnam will be the new state capital.

Tucked between the Eastern Ghats mountain range and the Bay of Bengal, it is often crowned as the ‘Jewel of the East coast’. (Official website of Vizag district)
Tucked between the Eastern Ghats mountain range and the Bay of Bengal, it is often crowned as the ‘Jewel of the East coast’. (Official website of Vizag district)

In 2015, the then CM N Chandrababu Naidu had declared that Amaravati would be the new capital. In 2020, however, Andhra Pradesh planned to have three capital cities — Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool. The Andhra Pradesh High Court in March last year ruled against three capitals and told the government to develop Amaravati. Amid the back-and-forth over selection of a new capital, Amaravati also became the centre of a land scam - an allegation levelled by the ruling YSR Congress against the Telugu Desam Party.

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Ultimately, the coastal city of Visakhapatnam - also known as Vizag - has finally been chosen as the capital.

Here are 7 unique factors of the new capital:

1. City with two ports

It is the only city in India that can boast of two of the largest ports in the country - the Vizag port and Gangavaram Port. The Visakhapatnam port, opened in 1933, also figured in India's top five ports in terms of the volume of cargo handled in 2022. Gangavaram is India’s deepest port with a total depth of 21 meters and was inaugurated in 2009.

2. First naval shooting range

In August 2022, a first of its kind in India, Composite Indoor Shooting Range (CISR) was inaugurated by Vice-Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag-Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at INS Karna, on the Eastern Seaboard. Home to one of the three major bases of Eastern Naval Command, it is also the headquarters of ENC.

3. ‘Jewel of East Coast’

Tucked between the Eastern Ghats mountain range and the Bay of Bengal, it is often crowned as the ‘Jewel of the East coast’ due it being one of the largest port cities in south India. Being the financial capital and now state capital of Andhra Pradesh, the city’s several beaches, museums, temples, have turned it into a tourist hotspot too. The largest and most populous city in Andhra Pradesh, it is also the second largest city on the east coast of India - after Chennai.

4. First submarine museum in South Asia

INS Kursura, one of the first four submarines purchased by the Indian Navy in 1969, had played an important part in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. It was decommissioned in 2001 and converted into a submarine museum in Rama Krishna beach in 2002, becoming the first of its kind in South Asia. Completed by the then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, it is also the world’s second submarine museum.

5. Oldest shipyard in India

Established in 1941, Hindustan Shipyard Limited is India’s first and the oldest shipyard. It announced its highest-ever turnover yet of 759 crore (provisional) for the financial year 2021-22, last July. With the launch of two Diving Support Vessels INS Nistar and Nipun in September 2022, the ministry of defence enterprise unlocked the unique milestone of building 200 ships and completing 2,000 repairs since its inception.

6. RRR’s Alluri Seeta Rama Raju hails from Vizag

SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster 'RRR' (Rise, Roar, Revolt) catapulted Alluri Sitarama Raju to instant fame. Ram Charan played the part of the freedom fighter, who spent his early years at Vizag, his mother’s hometown.

7. ‘INS Arihant’ built in Vizag

The country's first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine 'INS Arihant’ was launched for sea trials in 2009 on Vijay Diwas by the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The 6,000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. In 2016, the Indian Navy quietly commissioned into service INS Arihant, which is capable of firing nuclear weapons, completing India’s nuclear triad.

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