Vijayawada, which was Bezawada until a few decades ago, has been a destiny to many people from far and near. The second largest city in Andhra Pradesh with an area of 61.88 sq km, Vijayawada has been foreseen as a ‘Global City of the Future’ by McKinsey Quarterly. It is one of the commercial hubs of Andhra Pradesh with a GDP of Rs 18,000 crore in 2010, and is expected to grow up to Rs 1.02 lakh crore by 2025.
Bezawada emerged to the cleanest city in Andhra Pradesh, following a thorough survey conducted as part of the National Urban Sanitation Policy of the Central Government. Achieving the objectives specified in the policy, including open-defecation-free city, universal access to toilets for all including the urban poor, elimination of manual scavenging, Vijayawada earned a total of 49.060 points. Like any other cities in the contemporary world, a number of factors are contributing for the change of social, political and cultural contours of the city.
Vijayawada is geographically in a central position for the State. It is the gateway from South to North. As one comes from North to South, it is a gateway to Tamil Nadu via Nellore and to Karnataka via Chittor. For all practical purposes, it is the central pivot of Telugu dominated East coast of India.
There are a few sectors, including agriculture, commercial trade, tourism, industries and transportation, playing compensatory role in reinforcing the economy of Vijayawada.
Here are the 10 reasons why Vijayawada is the next Global City of the Future!
- Known Name in Manufacturing and Small Scale Industries
The city fared well, as it is a known name for processing of agricultural products, automobile body building, hardware, textile, consumer goods and small scale industries. Agro-based industries such as cotton, turmeric, and Virginia tobacco are located in the surrounding areas. There are also oil, dal and rice mills located at Kondapalli.
- Pivot Central Railway Point
Vijayawada is the central place for railway, coming from North East, North, West and also from South also.
There is no other railway junction in India, which acts a bridge between North and South. It is one of the largest railway junctions in the world.
- Hub Of Commercial Activities
As it is well connected through rail and road, Bezawada became the hub of many commercial activities. Textile market reports more than Rs 10 crore of trade every day.
Vijayawada city is reputed for its leading status as one of India’s busiest transport hubs. Automobile industry witnessed phenomenal growth in the last decade.
Facilities primarily catering to heavy commercial vehicles, the Jawaharlal Nehru Auto Nagar Industrial Estate, which is Asia’s biggest estate, has over 100,000 people working in nearly 2,000 units.
South India’s vastest truck body-building cluster draws the clientele from all corners of the country. A massive fleet of trucks move enormous tonnage of goods to all states of the the country. The Krishna District Lorry Owners’ Association, a truck owners’ body, is the biggest in Andhra Pradesh.
- Potential Industrial Suburbs
Kondapalli industrial estate in suburbs of Vijayawada is spread in 1.8 sq.km. The place accommodates 800 industrial units. Andhra Pradesh Heavy Machinery and Engineering Limited (APHMEL) factory is one of the major industries in the estate. The thermal power plants in the estate produce ample units of power. Estate is also a prime hub for storage, bottling and transportation of petroleum products of all major companies like BPCL, GAIL, HPCL, IOC, Reliance etc.
- Trendy Tryst with Tomorrow
In an interesting dichotomy of social dynamics, Vijayawada’s tryst with modernity has no way meant disconnect with orthodoxy. However, from eating out to dressing, Vijayawada folks have customized to the styles of modernity. Though there is no influx of youth from diverse backgrounds, the rise of Gen Y in a neoliberal environment resulted in the growth of a fashion cognizance.
- Changing Fashion Sense At Par With West
In due course of time, the old sensibilities are obviously at stake with the emergence of new breed of fashion gurus and other influences that are part of modern living. Today’s young men and women overwhelmingly prefer apparel such as capris, dhoti pants, bell bottoms, leggings, jeggings, bermudas and palazzos in shades of beige or khaki. The changing choices in apparels such as capris, dhoti pants, bell bottoms, leggings, jeggings, bermudas and palazzos are not something strange, as most of the Indians are It is said that nearly 81 per cent of Indians are trendy. So, Vijayawada is simply following suite with style.
- Mighty Wheels on Bezawada Roads
The new generation’s crave with wheels that roar have gotten latest super-bikes including the vintage Royal Enfield. Swanky BMWs, Mercs, Audis and Jaguars are making beeline before the door of the generation and jostling for space on the road with auto-rickshaws, bicycles and cycle-rickshaws, latter being so typical of Vijayawada.
These rapidly-changing tastes usher the local distributors to outlets to cater to the bike and car-lovers. Honda, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, Renault, Chevrolet, Skoda, Toyota and the domestic Maruti, Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra are on hurry bid. Audi and BMW, the two brands of global repute, are yet to be sold locally though. Most of the automobile showrooms are located between Vijayawada and Gannavaram and at Ramavarappadu Ring Road while a few others spot the Mahatma Gandhi Road. The city also has an ever-growing market for pre-owned vehicles. The number of people, who cannot afford to buy a new vehicle or want to first use an old one before graduating to brand new one, is steadily increasing.
- Increase in The ‘Throwaway’ Income
The distinctive rise in throwaway income of the general public and the mounting craze among the youth from affluent sections are visibly bringing the international brands to their thresholds. The demand for SUVs and sedans is only showing signs of reaching much higher levels in the years ahead. The ease of obtaining loans from banks and NBFCs is also giving the automobile sector an impetus.
- On the Curb
An attraction that is unique to the city is the roadside temples of ‘incredible’ Goddesses. The cult of local deities is rampant in Vijayawada. Festivals in these tiny temples are celebrated with great fervour. Another roadside entity that merits mention in Vijayawada is the eatery on a pushcart with its steaming idlis and dosas, which caters to the working class. Some of these are so popular that they attract even celebrities.
- Brilliant Mix of Old And New
There are a few outlets, events and places that mark typical of Bezawada and which are gradually sinking into oblivion. Tummalapalli Annapurnamma hostel, Tangirala Veeraraghavaiah marriage hall, D L Narayana Indian Medicine House, Koganti Gopalakrishnaiah Praja Natya Mandali, Samarangam Chowk, Challapalli Bungalow, Bodemma Hotel, New India Hotel centre, Satyanarayanapuram Sivaji café, Alankar centre, Gandhi bomma centre in Mogalrajapuram, Besant Road, Eluru road, Bandar road, Old Sivalayam, Benz circle, Ragavaiah park, Rammohan Library, Velidandla Hanumantharaya Library, Theosophical society, Kaleswara Rao Market, Gandhi Hill, Arundel Choultry, River Krishna and Prakasam Barrage are a few landmarks that mark Bezawada.
Idlies of Babai hotel, Dosa in Modern café, Mysore bujji in Durga Coffee house, Ice cream in Ravindra Cool drinks, lemon soda in Pushpala Rangaiah shop, Halva in Bandar Mithai sweet shop beside Eluru canal, meals on Plantain leaf in Ramachandra Rao Hotel, Rice with village curd in Machavaram Peraiah hotel, Betel leaf with crude camphor in Pani Pan shop beside Kautavari Siva temple, Sacred threads with Palani Vibudi (ash) at CVR School, Ksheerasagar eye hospital, Ramamohan Ayurveda hospital, Namdivada Hanumat Sitapatirao Homeopathy hospital, Maruti cinema, Jaihind Talkies, Lakshmi Talkies, Sesh mahel that exhibits only Hindi films and Leela Mahel for English movies, Eswar Mahel of old flicks….. are nostalgic of Bezawada.
Pandals of Sriramanavami in Besant Road, Navaratri (Nine-nights) festival of Goddess Durga, Ramakoti Saptaha are a few events that may last forever.
Make way folks. The new age city is here. It will not take long for a playful night life to be a part of the mix, with party hoppers rocking to funky music well into the wee hours of the day. Cultural stereotypes may be virtually obliterated to the extent that girls are getting ready to drop their inhibitions and walk the ramp, singing ‘if tomorrow never comes’!