Visakhapatnam to get bigger, adds 1,200 sq km
In a fillip to urban development in north coastal Andhra region, the AP cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to constitute the Visakhapatnam Metro Region Development Authority (VMRDA), which will replace the existing Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).
An area of about 6,760 square kilometres will now come under the purview of VMRDA as opposed to the 5,573 square kilometre jurisdiction of VUDA. Spread over four districts including Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari, VMRDA will cover 50 mandals and 1,340 villages. As per the census 2011, the population of VMRDA area was 52.9 lakh which has now increased to around 60.5 lakh.
Speaking to TOI, VUDA vice-chairman P Basanth Kumar said that they are awaiting the complete details from the government as to the formation of the VMRDA and its jurisdiction. “The state government will release two orders – one is to constitute the VMRDA and the second one is to notify the VMRDA area. All this process will likely take about 10 days,” said Basanth Kumar. Even though the VMRDA was announced back in 2014, the process was delayed due to difference of opinion over merger of new areas. VMRDA would now emerge as the second largest urban development authority in Andhra Pradesh after the Capital Region Development Authority.
Any Metropolitan Development Authority is generally headed by the chief minister of the state as the chairman. However, it is expected that the state government would nominate an MLA or MP for the chairman post. Several MLAs and MPs of the region are pinning their hopes of being appointed as VMRDA chairman.