‘Steps will be taken to tap the State’s 970-km coastline to its full potential’
The people of Seemandhra have given a decisive verdict in favour of the Telugu Desam-BJP combine which has promised speedy development of the State and the Union Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help to achieve it, according to K Haribabu, the president of the State unit of the BJP who got elected from Viskhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency with a majority of nearly one lakh votes.
A retired professor of engineering from Andhra University, Haribabu was once elected to the AP Assembly in 1999 on a BJP ticket. Incidentally, there was an alliance between the TDP and the BJP back then as well. Since then, he kept a low profile and many were surprised when the BJP chose him to head the Seemandhra unit of the BJP and gave him the ticket to contest from Visakhapatnam. In a high profile contest, the YSR Congress fielded the mother of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, YS Vijayamma, from Visakhapatnam and the political pundits wrote off Haribabu even before the contest. But he surprised everyone — including himself perhaps — by winning the election with a huge margin.
Thanking the people of Visakhapatnam here on Sunday, he said he would make all efforts to live up to the the faith reposed in him and strive for the development of the constituency in particular and the State in general. “We are blessed with a lot of natural resources and tapping them properly can ensure all-round development of the State,” he said.Tap coastline potential
He said the State was blessed with a 970-km coastline and efforts should be made to tap its potential and one of the immediate priorities for the State would be the establishment of a State Maritime Board. “On paper, we have 14 major and minor ports, but in reality only four — Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada and Krishnapatnam — are functional. We need to develop the rest of the ports. The cost of development of these ports could be shared with some of the landlocked states which could be given exclusive rights over operations,” he explained. Moreover, there is tremendous scope for development of coastal shipping and proper use of inland waterways.
After bifurcation, AP would be a power-surplus State and combined with the concessions for industry being offered under a package by the Centre, the State would see a lot of investment.
The Chairman and Managing Director of the Visakhaptnam Steel Plant, P Madhusudan, called on Haribabu to congratulate him on his victory. Haribabu suggested that the RINL (the steel plant) invest in the Brahmani Steels in the Rayalaseema area.