Visakhapatnam: The small town of Gajuwaka, 15 km away from Vizag city, has emerged as the industrial growth engine of the state, topping the list of other such areas with the same potential across Andhra Pradesh.
The town’s GDP, taking mandal-wise industrial output into consideration, stood at Rs 8,06,229 lakhs, which is the highest among others in the state. The mandal-wise GDP, put together for the first time by the state government, tells the story of Gajuwaka, which is often referred as a ‘factory or industrial town’
Known as the industrial hub of Vizag, the town has small- and medium-scale industries and also mega industries, like BHEL and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). VSP alone contributes approximately Rs 300 crore per annum in the form of various taxes to the state and local bodies as does BHEL.
There are around 1,100 micro-, small- and medium-scale industrial units being run in various industrial clusters in Gajuwaka, which, put together, do a turnover of Rs 200 crore per annum. Around 20,000 workers directly and indirectly depend on these 600 units in the district for their livelihood. Most of them are ancillary units of VSP and BHEL, plywood industries and freight and container yards.
Gajuwaka MLA Palla Srinivas Rao points out that the town, which is driving the state’s industrial growth, has also turned into an urban conglomerate, replete with habitations, real estate activity and hotels. “Its face has changed 1970s onwards, after VSP, and later, BHEL were established.
It is also home for those who work in other industries in the surrounding areas, such as HPCL, Coromandel Fertilisers, Hindustan Shipyard, Vizag port and many others. Thousands of employees and contract workers in these public sector units earn decent salaries which has led to a good quality of life.”
Inam land issue still bothers Gajuwaka
Gajuwaka faces a peculiar problem. Due to a dispute between the state revenue department and the then zamindar of that area, residents cannot buy or sell land.
The issue has been lying unresolved since the1970s.
There are no land registrations in nearly 900 acres of land, which has turned into a prime locality now, with huge buildings and habitations having come up over the years. Those who are already residing in these areas are termed illegal though they got ownership of their piece of land from the zamindar.
“A Cabinet sub-committee, appointed by the state government, almost solved the issue of regularising the Gajuwaka inam lands. A GO in this regard is expected as and when the Cabinet approves the sub-committee’s recommendations,” said MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao.