'Central government will decide on new Andhra capital'
With the committee constituted by the central government opposing Andhra Pradesh government's proposal of locating its capital between Vijayawada and Guntur, the latter said Thursday that centre will take a final decision on the issue in consultation with the state.
Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu said Sivaramakrishnan Committee had only given various options in its report submitted to union home ministry Wednesday.
"It is for the elected government to decide where the state capital should come up," he told reporters.
The minister said the central government would take a final decision in consultation with the state government.
He said that the panel has only given its advise and mooted some suggestions.
"Wherever you locate the capital, this problem will be there," he said when asked about reported observation by the committee that Vijayawada-Guntur as capital will lead to pollution.
He said if the capital was formed between small towns, the surrounding areas would also develop along with the capital.
The state cabinet will meet on Sep 1 to discuss Sivaramakrishnan committee's report. Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana said the cabinet may take a final view on the issue.
Narayana claimed that the report submitted Wednesday was not the final one as the panel will be giving a supplementary report Thursday.
He clarified that the government has no intention to acquire agricultural land for developing the new capital.
Though the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has been batting for Vijayawada-Guntur as state capital, the panel headed by former secretary of urban development K.C. Sivaramakrishnan opposed it on the ground that it will have environmental consequences as fertile agriculture land has to be acquired on large scale.
The committee recommended that instead of having one super city as the capital city with all departments and institutions concentrated at one place, several cities in all the three regions of the state should be developed as industrial, business and investment hubs.
It suggested Visakhapatnam zone comprising north coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema arc and Kalahasti-Nadikudi spine for setting up various institutions and for developing industrial clusters for equitable economic growth.
The expert committee was constituted under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which bifurcated the state.
As per the Act, Hyderabad will serve as the common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of not more than 10 years.
(Posted on 28-08-2014)