Panel suggests Andhra Secretariat at Vizag, HC at Kurnool

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launches the Citizens’ Help Centre to register complaints against bribery in government offices.

Amaravati, Dec 20 (IANS) It’s almost curtains for Amaravati as the dream capital of Andhra Pradesh with an experts’ panel suggesting to the government to move some of the capital’s functions to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.

Five years after the foundation stone was laid for Amaravati, a brainchild of then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the panel constituted by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government virtually recommended dumping Amaravati.

As indicated by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in State Assembly a few days ago, the committee recommended decentralisation of capital functions.

The six-member panel comprising urban planning experts and headed by retired IAS officer G. N. Rao, submitted its report to the Chief
Rao, along with other committee members, told a news conference later that they suggested moving “some of the capital’s functions and not the capital” to some other areas keeping in view the requirements in the state.

The panel suggested that Amaravati Mangalgiri Complex can consists of proposed high court bench, Legislative Assembly, ministers’ quarters and Governor’s quarters.

The Visakhapatnam metropolitan region in north coastal Andhra can have a high court bench, the Legislative Assembly for its sittings during summer, the Secretariat and the Chief Minister’s camp office.

In view of the long-pending demand of the people of Rayalaseema region, the committee suggested that the High Court should come up at Kurnool.

The committee noted that some zones in Amaravati are flood-prone and hence suggested development of necessary infrastructure in the upland area.

“Since the government has already made lot of investments in Thullur region, we suggested that the development should be completed for use by various departments,” Rao said.

However, the panel mooted development of the core of capital in Mangalgiri. It noted that as a lot of government land is available around Nagarjuna University, the same should be used to construct “iconic buildings which can have permanent and everlasting effect for the state”.

The committee, which visited all 13 districts, stressed the need for balanced development as some of the regions are backward and poor than others.

It recommended to the government to create four regions for decentralised administration. These regions could be north coastal Andhra, central coastal Andhra, south coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

It suggested to the government to constitute regional commissionerates on the pattern of Karnataka for administration of the four regions.

Soon after the committee made its recommendations public, farmers in Amaravati came out on streets to protest. They marched towards the State secretariat, demanding the government to drop its move.

The state cabinet is scheduled to meet on December 27 to consider the committee’s report and take a decision.

Urban Development Minister Botsa Satyanarayana told reporters that the government wants development of all 13 districts and hence it decided to decentralise the capital. “The government is not in a position to spend Rs 1 lakh crore to develop the capital,” he said referring to the grandiose plans of the previous TDP government.

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