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The Andhra Pradesh State Government, through an official gazette notification on Friday, excluded seven mandals from the jurisdiction of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA). The seven mandals, comprising 82 revenue villages were brought under the preview of the Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region Urban Development Authority (VK-PCPIR UDA). 

The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) earlier had an extent of 7,328 square kilometres (inclusive of the 7 mandals). With the State’s decision on Friday, the Urban Development Authority’s extent has decreased by about 492 square kilometres, bringing it to 6,836 square kilometres. 

In another official gazette notification, the Andhra Pradesh State Government replaced the existing Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region Special Development Authority (VK-PCPIR SDA), with Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region Urban Development Authority (VK-PCPIR UDA). Reportedly, the State Government will appoint a Chairperson for the newly constituted VK-PCPIR UDA. And the officials from different departments in the VMRDA will constitute the members of this new Urban Development Authority. 

On a whole, the VK-PCPIR UDA’s extent has increased by 640 square kilometres. This new additional extent includes VMRDA’s seven mandals from the Visakhapatnam District and three mandals from East Godavari District. 

It could be noted that in March 2021, Former Energy Secretary to AP State Government, EAS Sarma, had written to the State Government to exclude six tribal villages and other scheduled villages from the ambit of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA). He said that the Government Order (GO) issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department erroneously had six scheduled villages instead of the 13 mandals of the non-agency areas of Visakhapatnam District. 

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