Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Friday vowed to rebuild cyclone-battered Visakhapatnam and develop it as one of the best cities in the world.
"We will now focus on rebuilding the city. It will again become the commercial capital of the state. I have no doubt about it," said Naidu, who is camping here for last five days to supervise relief operations.
He said the rebuilt city will have a new name like "new Visakhapatnam". He told reporters that he remained committed to develop the port city as a top Information Technology destination.
Naidu said the new city would be developed while keeping in view the lessons learnt in tackling Hudhud, the severe cyclonic storm that battered the city and other parts of north coastal Andhra last Sunday.
The cyclone with a wind speed of 185 kmph uprooted trees, electricity and communication towers and caused massive damage to central and state government establishments in this picturesque steel city, the biggest city in the state and an industrial hub.
"We will have a city which can withstand even 250 kmph cyclone. We will build common services ducts so that electricity, communication, water supply and other services can be restored within 24 hours in the event of any calamity," he said.
The chief minister said as the city lost almost its entire green cover, the government will hire services of experts for cloning of trees. He also proposed to seek help from Singapore in this connection.
Naidu stressed the need for reopening the public sector companies as early as possible to bring normalcy back in the city.
The airport, which suffered extensive damage, Friday resumed its operations while Visakhapatnam Port Trust is set to restart its activity from Saturday.
Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited - Heavy Plates and Vessels Plant (BHEL-HPVP) and other major establishments suffered huge losses.
Naidu said since small and medium industries also suffered damaged, the government will come out with a policy to help them.
The chief minister said the losses due to the cyclone were beyond anybody's estimate. He had hinted two days ago that the losses could be in excess of Rs.70,000 crore.
Naidu hailed the courage shown by people in the face of the unprecedented disaster. He pointed out that despite suffering losses, people have come forward to donate a day's salary.