Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag) will be expanding in size as 1,200-sq.km of surrounding area will be added to the city limits. Andhra Pradesh cabinet has given its consent to constitute the Visakhapatnam Metro Region Development Authority (VMRDA), which will replace the existing Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).
While VUDA had jurisdiction over 5,573-sq.km, 6,760-sq.km will now come under the purview of VMRDA. VMRDA will spread over four districts viz., Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari and will cover 50 mandals and 1,340 villages. As per the census 2011, the population of VMRDA area was 52.9 lakh which has now increased to around 60.5 lakh.
It may be noted here that plans to convert VUDA into VMRDA was taken long back in 2014. However, the process was delayed due to difference of opinion over merger of new areas. VMRDA would now emerge as the second largest urban development authority in Andhra Pradesh after the Capital Region Development Authority.
Presently, Vizag is the largest city and the financial capital of Andhra Pradesh. Vizag is the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Currently, Vizag is also the 9th most populous metropolitan area in India, and is also the ninth-largest contributor to India’s overall gross domestic product as of 2016.
VUDA was constituted in 1978 with its jurisdiction extending over Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and four municipal towns namely Vizianagaram, Bheemunipatnam, Gajuwaka and Anakapalli, comprising an area of 1,721-sq.km. The jurisdiction was increased from 1,721-sq.km to 5,573-sq.km in 2008.