A month after Hudhud mayhem, Vizag gets back into stride

| Updated on: Nov 12, 2014
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It was on Oct. 12, exactly a month ago as on Wednesday that the cyclone Hudhud hit the city with a fury never imagined before and left it gasping for breath. The city has regained normalcy to a great extent, even though the scars are very much visible on the landscape, with most of the greenery gone, and the three crucial sectors - industry, tourism and fisheries - suffering both short-term and long-term losses.

The damage is yet to be assessed in its totality, and a nine-member central team is visiting the city from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27 for the purpose. The industry and the fisheries sectors are getting back on their feet. The major units such as the Visakhapatnam steel plant, the HPCL refinery, the Hindusthan Shipyard and others have resumed production and the smaller units are also on the same path. The Visakhapatnam port has resumed cargo-handling normally, in spite of long-term damage to some of its structures such as the break-water, and the private Gangavaram port has also revived operations even though it has also taken a hit.

The cyclone has shaken the public of the port city and also woken the authorities to the necessity for using modern technology such as underground cables for power transmission to make it more cyclone-proof. "The cyclone has hit the city after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an announcement in the USA that Vizag will be one of the three smart cities in the country to get US aid. Now it is for the State and Union Goverments to take long-term steps to face such calamities in future and to recover much faster than it has done after Hudhud," says B. Gopi, the CEO of Sankhya Technologies, a software company.

Neeraj Sarda, the Director of Sarda Metals & Alloys Ltd., whose ferro-alloys unit in Vizianagaram district suffered substantial loss, has said that "from now on our structures should be built to withstand wind speeds well above 200 KMPH, may be in the range of 250-300 KMPH perhaps. This cyclone has set a new benchmark for structures in the city and the neighbouring districts of Vizinagaram and Srikakulam as well."

Chief Minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu has made an announcement that the city would be made more cyclone-proof in future and "there is no need to worry about its long-term prospects, as it is only a temporary setback."

Efforts are also on by the general public as well as the industry to restore the green cover of the city by taking up a massive plantation drive. Visakhapatnam steel plant Chairman and Managing Director P. Madhusudan has said that "the steel plant, the biggest industrial unit in Andhra Pradesh, will give as much importance to restoration of green cover in the plant as for its steel production."

Published on November 12, 2014

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