Andhra Pradesh capital: Hyderabad gone, efforts to find new one gains momentum

Written by PTI | Hyderabad | Updated: Jun 19 2014, 22:58pm hrs
With Hyderabad set to go to Telangana, efforts to find a capital city for (new) Andhra Pradesh have gained momentum with a committee of experts appointed by the Centre for holding consultations with top leaders like Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu during the last week.

The five-member panel, headed by former Union Urban Development Secretary K C Sivaramakrishnan, was constituted in April this year and is supposed to submit its report by August 31.

The committee has already visited places like Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada in Coastal Andhra to study their suitability for locating the capital and is expected to visit cities and towns like Tirupati in Rayalaseema region in the days to come.

The committee had a meeting with Chandrababu here last week and held wide-ranging talks with him on choosing the new capital.

Sivaramakrishnan has said the panel would like to submit its report before the deadline of August 31 and reportedly favoured developing a string of cities as business and industrial hubs rather than building one 'super capital'.

The committee had a meeting with Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi yesterday and briefed him about their study of the issue so far.

The committee explained to the Union Minister that any new capital requires massive transportation network like roads, BRTS, metro rail network within the city and road link to other parts of the state, according a release from Naidu's office.

The committee urged the minister to ensure all round support not only from Urban Development Ministry, but also from other ministries like Railways, Surface Transport, Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Naidu told the panel that all provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act and promises made by the then Prime Minister on the floor of Parliament would be kept in mind.

Hyderabad, which will be the capital of Telangana, will be the joint capital of the two states (residuary Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) for ten years and within that period the residuary state will have to build a new capital.

"Expert Committee to study the various alternatives regarding the new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh and make appropriate recommendations," an order issued by the Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry had said.

The other members of the five-member committee are Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru, Jagan Shah, Director National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi and K T Ravindran, former Dean, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

With Chandrababu Naidu taking oath as Chief Minister at a grand public event organised in Guntur district, speculation is rife that Vijayawada-Guntur cities would be the final choice to set up the new capital.

The Vijayawada-Guntur region is believed to enjoy the advantages of being situated geographically in the middle of the state and its connectivity by rail, road and air to other parts of the state and rest of the country.