25 June, 2021

Harbour Of Good Hope

Visakhapatnam’s tryst with destiny has been too long in the making

Jitender Gupta
Harbour Of Good Hope

Welcome to City of Destiny’, proclaim the billboards at the recently opened Visakhapatnam airport. But outside, in the city wedged between the Eastern Ghats and a spectacularly long, golden beach, there is an air of expectancy, as if its promised destiny is still round the corner. Multi-storey apartments sprout incongruously among banana groves, villages around the city are agog with promise, optimistically brandishing ‘flats/sites for sale’ signs; flyovers raise half-built wings to the sky; and even the pride of the port city, its three IT SEZs sprawled over the ancient hills, appear like ghost cities, dark and deserted. As for the glass-fronted malls and multiplexes coming up along Beach Road, they are still woefully short of crowds.

But there is one sign of the future that everyone here is anticipating for this fastest-growing city in the country: an evening rush hour. For the last couple of years, from 7 pm to 10 pm, herds of buffaloes, tractors, trucks carrying iron rods, white Honda Citys rigged out in...

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