Andhra Pradesh picks Vijayawada as capital
Ending all speculation, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu Thursday announced that the coastal city of Vijayawada will be the new capital of the truncated state.
He told the assembly that the government had decided to "locate the capital city in a central place of the state around Vijayawada", located on the banks of the Krishna and Budameru rivers.
"It was also decided to go for decentralized development of the state with three mega cities and 14 smart cities," Naidu said.
Vijayawada - which translates into Place of Victory - will be developed as a mega city in addition to Tirupati and Visakhapatnam which, Naidu said, would be the economic capital of the state.
The assembly also passed a resolution moved by Naidu urging the central government to provide resources for building the new capital and to fulfil the commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 for the state's speedy development.
Naidu said the cabinet also decided to go for land pooling system for building the new capital. The system will be worked out by a cabinet sub-committee.
He assured that it will be a win-win situation both for the government and the farmers whose lands will be acquired.
Opposition YSR Congress Party welcomed the government's decision but faulted it for making the announcement without any debate.
In a 20-page statement, the chief minister said the cabinet felt that integrated and equitable development can be best served by locating the capital city at a central place.
He said the new capital will be a world-class city.
Stating that Vijayawada fulfils all the criteria for a capital, Naidu pointed out 50 percent of people whose opinion were sought by experts favoured Vijayawada-Guntur as the capital.
Repeatedly claiming credit for developing Hyderabad as an IT and economic hub when he was chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Naidu vowed to use his administrative experience to overcome the challenges.
Unveiling his vision for the state's development, Naidu pledged to turn it into a manufacturing, industrial, electronics, logistics and IT hub by using its strengths: 1,000-km-long coast and vast mineral and human resources.
He announced special measures for agriculture and allied sectors, urban development, industry, infrastructure, services, skill upgradation and social empowerment.
Naidu declared five grids for water, electricity, natural gas, roads and optic fibres.
The chief minister also said international airports will come up in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati, while five more airports will be built in addition to Puttaparthi, Rajahmundry and Kadapa airports.
Ten new ports will be developed in addition to four existing ones. Massive industrialization of coastal districts will be taken up with the setting up of five industrial clusters as part of Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor.
He promised industrial development at Chittoor, Anantapur and at Krishnapatnam port in Nellore as part of the Bangalore-Chennai industrial corridor.
Naidu told the assembly that the metro rail project for Visakhapatnam was under the central government's final consideration. Delhi Metro will do feasibility study for metro projects in Vijayawada and Tirupati.
A mega IT hub will be developed in Visakhapatnam while IT clusters will come up in Vijayawada and Tirupati, he said.
An Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, electronic manufacturing hub, innovation and incubation hub and exhibition and convention centre will also come up in Visakhapatnam, while an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and National Disaster Management institute will come up between Vijayawada and Guntur.
A petroleum university in East Godavari district, Indian Institute of Technology at Tirupati, agriculture university in Guntur, tribal university in Vizianagaram, central university and AIIMS like facility in Anantapur are the other institutions proposed to be set up by the central government.
(Posted on 04-09-2014)
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