VIJAYAWADA: GITAM University founder and Andhra Pradesh state Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Dr Mathukumilli Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Murthi, popularly known as MVVS Murthi, died in a car accident in the United States of America on Tuesday. He also served as Member of Parliament from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency twice.
Murthi along with four others was travelling from California to Alaska to visit a wildlife safari near Anchorage when their car collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Four people, including Murthi, died in the accident while one person has been admitted to the hospital in a serious condition, reports reaching here said. The other deceased have been identified as Basava Punnaiah, Veeramachineni Sivaramakrishna and VBR Chowdary.
Murthi had gone to USA recently to attend GITAM Alumni Association of North America (GANAM), which is scheduled on October 6.
80-year-old MVVS Murthi was born in an affluent agricultural family in Konaseema area of Moolapolam Village, Ainavilli Mandal, East Godavari District on July 3, 1938. After formal schooling at his native place, he moved on to Kakinada for higher studies and graduated in Economics from PR Government College. He obtained Masters Degree in Politics & Public Administration, B.L., and also Ph.D. in Economics from Andhra University.
Dr MVVS Murthi is a multifaceted personality imbibing the qualities of an industrialist, educationist, politician and philanthropist. After a brief stint as an advocate in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, he shifted to business and established Visakha Bottling Company (VBC) in 1967 with a modest investment. The VBC was a phenomenal success in the manufacturing of soft drinks.
In education front, Murthi started Women’s’ Government Junior College at Amalapuram and also established Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Junior College at Vadlapudi in Visakhapatnam and Sri Seetarama Degree College in Poosapatirega, Vizianagaram District and MPM Trust Junior College for weaker sections at Moolapolam Village, Ainavilli Mandal, East Godavari District, his birthplace.
To realize his dream of providing quality in Technical and Higher education, he started Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM) in the year 1980. Recognizing the quality in higher education provided by the Institute, Union Ministry of Human Resources & Development granted Deemed University status to GITAM in the year 2007 under section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956. GITAM University with its main campus at Visakhapatnam and off campuses at Hyderabad and Bengaluru is a leader in imparting higher education in diverse fields.
On the political front, Murthi was one of the founder members of the now ruling Telugu Desam Party founded by Late N T Rama Rao. Visakhapatnam city saw a phenomenal growth when it comes to developing greenery during his tenure as the chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) between 1987 and 1989. The Green Visakha concept was his idea and VUDA was in forefront of plantations in the entire country.
Visakhapatnam's tourist attraction and iconic landmark, Kailasagiri park, was initiated during his tenure and he was also instrumental in expanding the VUDA Park.
Murthi was elected twice in 1991 and in 1999 as a member of 10th and 13th Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam. Presently, Murthi is an MLC from Visakhapatnam district.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and a host of TDP leaders from AP and Telangana condoled the death of Murthi in the road accident.