Vizag can attract $10 billion investment: PM

PM promised to consider proposals for developing an international airport and a MRTS in Visakhapatnam.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 18:42 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said this port city had the potential to become a special economic region and attract an investment of $10 billion.

Launching the Rs 80 million urban development scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, he assured all the assistance to the state government to transform Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, into a thriving business and industrial region.

Addressing a public meeting at the Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Stadium, he promised to consider proposals for developing an international airport and a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in Visakhapatnam.

Manmohan Singh pointed out that the work on the new passenger terminal building at the existing airport was taken up at Rs 900 million and would be completed by the end of next year.

He also assured that the proposal to lay a tunnel under the hills to connect the city to new developing area of Bhimili would also be considered.

The Prime Minister, who earlier laid the foundation stone for the Rs 86.92 billion expansion project of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, said Vizag had the potential to be a great port, industrial and knowledge city.

"It must be developed as a jewel of Coromandel Coast (southeastern coast) and one of the greatest cities in the world," he said.

Manmohan Singh said a belt of 200 miles from Vizag to Kakinada and to Srikakulam could be developed into a thriving business and industrial corridor.

He said there was a proposal to revive the Hindustan Shipyard Limited, a public sector undertaking based here.

"There is immense potential for development of petrochemicals in this region," he said and pointed out that Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) planned to invest Rs80 billion to expand its refinery here.

Manmohan Singh said drinking water and drainage projects worth Rs1 billion were sanctioned for the city under the urban renewal mission. Road development projects worth Rs1 billion will also be taken up under the scheme, he added.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, central ministers from the state and senior officials briefed the prime minister about the proposals for the development of the region.

First Published: May 20, 2006 18:42 IST