In the third part of the ‘Know Your Smart Cities’ web series on the 98 cities that have been shortlisted to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time, we look at the three chosen cities in Andhra Pradesh and two in Telangana.
Inhabited mostly by fishermen’s communities in earlier times, Visakhapatnam today is the largest city in the present Andhra Pradesh. With industrial and port-based trade and economic activities, the city is a driver of growth for the state. It used to be known by the name of Vizagapatam until the 1930s and 1940s. According to archaeological records, Visakhapatnam was built around the 11th century CE, and the control over the city changed hands between the Chola Dynasty and Gajapati kingdom until it was conquered by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. Later, it went into the hands of Mughals in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had come under the French rule, the control was passed on to the British in 1804, and it remained under the British rule until independence. After independence, the city developed into one of the country’s chief ports and became the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. Also, Visakhapatnam is a popular tourist destination in South India.
Apart from port-based trade and economic activity, the presence of a number of large public-sector enterprises like Vizag Steel (RINL), BHPV, Vizag Shipyard and HPCL make the city a predominantly industrial one. Formed in the year 1931, Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the oldest chambers of commerce in India. Visakhapatnam is also experiencing growth in the information technology sector, contributing to the local economy. Some 21.16 acres in Rushikonda has also been identified and allocated for construction of a ‘Signature Tower’ to house IT companies.
An important coastal town in Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada is home to onshore facilities of oil & gas companies like Reliance Industries and ONGC. In addition to an existing anchorage port, a deep-water port, the first private port, was developed in this city in 1996. Besides a 10,000-acre multi-product SEZ and the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR), a number of gas-based thermal power projects have come up near Kakinada in recent times.
The city’s principal exports include seafood and related products, agricultural products like rice and corn, oilmeals, processed food products and chemicals. Kakinada is also known as a fertiliser city, housing two fertiliser producers — Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Godavari Fertilisers.
The temple town of Tirupati was an established centre of Vaishnavism around 5th century AD. The temple rites were formalised by the Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya in the 11th century AD. While Tirupati municipality was formed in the year 1886, Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple was handed over to Tirumala Tirupati Devashanam by the TTD Act in 1932. Kings of the respective empires visited the Tirumala temple, according to historians. The temple was built and upgraded in parts by various kingdoms. Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages have been found in this temple.
An important city in the Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati attracts over 18 million pilgrims and tourists annually. The municipality here saw many gradations and was turned into a municipal corporation in the year 2007. The city is located close to two metros — Chennai and Bengaluru. Tirupati Urban Development Authority(TUDA), the urban planning authority, extends its jurisdiction across 1,211.51 sq km, covering Srikalahasti, Puttur and 69 other surrounding villages.
Sri Venkateswara Ram Narayan Ruia government hospital here is one of the largest hospitals in the state. At present, it has 750 beds. Tourism is the city’s major industry, and its entire economy is directly or indirectly dependent on Tirumala Devasthanam.
Established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad was ruled by Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before the Mughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah-I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nizams’ became a princely state during the British Raj and remained so for 150 years, with Hyderabad serving as the princely state’s capital till it was brought into the Indian Union in September 1948. Under the Indian Union, the city was the capital of Hyderabad state, formed with the residual areas of Telugu-speaking population of the erstwhile multilingual princely Nizam state, in 1953. The city became the capital city of Andhra Pradesh after the two Telugu-speaking states were merged to form a single linguistic state in 1956.
A sleepy town until the 1990s, the ‘city of pearls’ underwent a rapid progress, accompanied by a steep rise in migrant population, over the next decade. After its de-merger in June 2014, the city became a joint capital for both Andhra Pradesh and the new state of Telangana — a temporary arrangement under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty from 12th to 14th Centuries CE. Earlier known as Orugallu or Ekashila Nagaram, the city is located in the northern part of the new state. It is called the cultural capital of Telangana. The cultural and administrative distinction of the Kakatiyas was mentioned by the famous traveller Marco Polo in his accounts. After the defeat of Pratapa Rudra, the Musunuri Nayaks united 72 Nayak chieftains and captured Warangal from the Delhi sultanate and ruled it for fifty years. The city is known for several historical monuments and temples, including the famous 1,000-pillar temple.
The second-largest city in Telangana, Warangal is at times referred to as a tri-city; it is a cluster of three towns — Warangal, Hanmakonda and Kazipet — with a common civic administration-Warangal Municipal Corporation. Warangal municipality was upgraded as a municipal corporation in 1994 and became Greater Warangal in the year 2014. The city is 145.3 km away from Hyderabad.