Middle class fear Vizag turning into executive capital will up cost of living

Highlights

  • Plans to buy apartments would remain a dream for thousands of families in Vizag

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam is already one of the costliest Indian cities in terms of living, and now the city’s middle class live in fear of the increased cost of living. This fear follows the Andhra Pradesh government’s consideration to make Vizag the administrative capital of the state. AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy proposed the idea in the state assembly a few days ago.   

However, ordinary people and the representatives of the left parties worry that the cost of living in Vizag will further increase if the proposal translated into action.

While Vizag residents’ plans to buy apartments would remain a dream for thousands of families, the rent would also surge. “An administrative capital in Vizag would lead to more traffic snarls, mushrooming of brokers, middlemen, and land grabbers. Above all, the cost of living in Vizag will shoot up by at least 40 per cent,” anticipated Ch Narasinga Rao of CPM.

“The middle class and low-income families in Vizag may face so many problems if the government executes the idea of an administrative capital in Vizag. The city might also face a water crisis due to rapid urbanisation,” Lokanadham pointed out.

Ordinary residents are already finding it difficult to cope with the current situation. “We are paying Rs 8,000 per month as rent for a two-bedroom house at Madhurawada area in Vizag. If Vizag is turned into the administrative capital, then the rent may increase further, and it will be a big burden for people like us,” said G Harish, a resident of Madhurawada area in the city.

He added that the land prices in the core city might not increase as much as the costs for the lands in the core area almost reached the saturation point around two years ago. “In Rushikonda, the land price is Rs 15,000 per sq yard, which may go up to Rs 25,000 per sq yard in the coming days,” Harish noted.

Realtor, investors, rich upbeat over the capital plan

Real estate business people are expecting a significant boost in the sector after CM Jagan’s proposal to develop Vizag city as the state’s administrative capital. B Srinivasa Rao, the President of CREDAI Vizag Chapter, predicted that demand for housing is going to increase. “Besides, the cost of flats in apartments at Yendada, Madhurawada, Bhimili, Tagarapuvalasa and a few other places in the city will witness a steep jump. It is mainly because a majority of the people will buy flats as an investment in the wake of the CM dropping strong hints of developing Vizag as an administrative capital,” he added.

Since Vizag is a beautiful coastal city, it will witness high-rise buildings in the future as demand for flats and land from various parts of the state will increase.

Realtors opined that the prices of land and flats in the city might increase at least 30 per cent after the government takes a concrete decision on the administrative capital. “At present, over 5,000 flats in apartments and housing societies are up for sale at various places in the city. It is mostly in the city’s outskirts,” said K Sunil, a realtor in Vizag.

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One comment on "Middle class fear Vizag turning into executive capital will up cost of living"

  • The following two letters [with some modifications] were sent to CM:

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy Hyderabad 20th December 2019

    Dear Shri. Jagan Mohan Reddy Garu,

    On Chandrababu’s AP Capital Proposal there were heated discussions in Media. I also participated in some of those discussions. I presented Australia and Brazil’s capitals where I lived. Canberra is the Capital for Australia. It is clean and Green City. Commercial activities/industries were not allowed within the city. Melbourne is the business bub of Australia. Another city is Sydney. Brasilia, Brazil’s Capital city was developed on the lines of Canberra in Australia. Sao Polo is like Melbourne and Rio de Genaro is like Sydney. I was a Ph.D. Student in The Australian National University in Canberra. As a Consultant I was in Brasilia. Both Canberra and Brasilia are inland cities.
    As a decentralization of services to meet the aspirations of the people of all regions, you hinted that the state may have three capitals, namely:
    • Amaravati as Legislative Capital
    • Visakhapatnam as Executive Capital
    • Kurnool as Judicial Capital
    I studied in Guntur A.C. College [1961-64] and in Visakhapatnam [1964-69]. I stayed in Kurnool also. The basic problems with Visakhapatnam city as such are cyclones fury; pollution [air and water] from Pharma City in Parwada [air & water], Steel Plant and Shipyard [imports and exports of obnoxious compounds & ores]. With development of Visakhapatnam as Capital for Executive, you need to look for proper place that can avoid these problems along with congested – filthy city. Drinking water will not be a problem with Polavaram Left Canal. Also there should not be any pressure through commercialization & tourism activities along the coastal belt, particularly CRZ zones. To avoid coastal erosion and incursion of salt water, you may like to build Mangroves along the Coastal zone.
    In the case of Amaravati, it is better to select dry area for the capital. In the case of Kurnool, Capital must be away from the congested & filthy city areas.
    The three Capital Areas must be developed as “Clean and Green” and “free from Pollution-Garbage, Hotels-clubs, etc.; with Pollution free transport system [trams, electric vehicles, etc.]”. This will protect the health of people work in that capital & environment. I know there will be pressures from vested groups.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy Hyderabad 22nd December 2019

    Dear Shri. Jagan Mohan Reddy Garu,

    I am sorry to say that in YSRCP there are several “Super CMs” unlike TDP. Unfortunately they make loose statements denigrating CM’s word, more particularly on policy related issues.
    After receiving the report on AP Capital, CM said Cabinet will Review the report in Cabinet meet on 27th December and then take the final decision on Capitals issue.
    But, in violation of the CM’s statement on Capitals, a member of Rajya Sabha, Vijayasai Reddy spoke to people and media saying that Bheeimili will be the choice of Executive Capital that will be set up in Vijag and all the capital structures will come up in Bheemili Assembly Constituency; and added few more items over and above what the committee said for Visakhapatnam Executive Capital. He also said AP CM is planning to increase districts from 13 to 25.
    Bheemili is worse choice for locating Executive Capital over Amaravati, a choice of Chandrababu Naidu as CM.
    TS government is making Osmansagar & Himayatsagar Lake area [against GO111 & Supreme Court Order of December 2000 with a “precautionary principle” and the Memo issued by the government with our PIL in 2007 – still in the court] as “adda to anti-social activities” to serve the vested interests. Bheemili is already an “adda to antisocial activities” against the coastal regulation Acts.
    Important Issue: Internationally widely discussed issue is the protection of coast line. Mangroves act as protective wall to protect the coast from tidal fury and erosion.
    As CM of AP, Dr. Y. S. Rajashekara Reddy got large number of power plants to AP. The government allocated lands for those plants. One such plant was located in between Krishna and Guntur. Official report said it is a barren land but environmental groups informed us that it is Mangroves zone. We filed a PIL in AP High Court. The court directed the RDO to visit the site in person and submit the report. She found it is Mangroves zone – by that time in 30 acres mangroves were cut. Even before the report reached the court, Dr. YSR government cancelled the land allocation and allocated land in Krishnapatnam area. Now this power plant is in operation.
    It is clear from all these that the report was prepared under the guidance of Vijayasai Reddy. Why I say this is basically because:
    • From judicial capital, separate benches were allocated to Amaravati and Visakhapatnam but from the activities of the other two capitals, none were allocated to Kurnool capital!!!;
    • From legislative capital summer assembly sessions were allocated to Visakhapatnam – very horrible time in Visakhapatnam but no such provision was given to Kurnool like winter assembly sessions. However, division of assembly sessions is a bad idea;
    • From executive capital none were separated. Why? For example irrigation and mining departments could be located in Kurnool; municipal administration could be located in Amaravati; etc. without effecting the executive capital functioning;
    [In fact I am associated with Steel Plant agitation as a member of Student Union of AU. Later politicians entered.]
    Appeal: Please look in to all aspects and take right decision on Executive Capital location in Visakhapatnam surroundings. This must not carry the label of Chandrababu’s Amaravati “to serve vested interests”.
    Also, take balanced act on the distribution of activities among the three capitals instead overloading executive capital city; and please don’t close Legislative Council, just because they are opposing your policies.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

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