The demand for granting Special Category Status (SCS) to the state of Andhra Pradesh has been in the news for quite sometime now. A political storm has been doing the rounds both inside and outside the Parliament.
Union Cabinet Minister for urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation, M Venkaiah Naidu has categorically specified that granting special status to Andhra should not be made a fodder for creating unnecessary political controversy.
In his column in The Indian Express Naidu comes out heavy handed on the opposition on the entire dispute surrounding whether Andhra Pradesh should be granted SCS or not.
Quite rightfully the minister for urban development enumerates how the state will get more benefits than being tagged as SCS. Some of the mega projects upcoming in the state are as follows.
– The expansion of HPCL,
– Petrochemical complex and
– Petroleum university. (all the above worth Rs 52000 crore)
The other significant big ticket projects announced are the national highways projects worth Rs 64,000 crore, Defense projects that includes DRDO’s Rs 3,266-crore naval air station at Bobbili in Vizianagaram district, Rs 1,000-crore missile test facility at Nagayalanka in Krishna district, BEL’s missile integration and manufacturing unit at Palasamudram in Anantapur with an investment of Rs 600 crore.
Venkaiah Naidu hits out at the opposition by saying that, “It should also be mentioned that the Polavaram project was started way back in 1982, but there was no progress on it till the NDA came to power. The NDA government has, in fact, gone beyond the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act when it comes to creating new institutions in Andhra Pradesh”.
Referring to the Section 93 of the AP Reorganisation Act which says, “The Central government shall take all necessary measures as enumerated in the 13th schedule for the progress and sustainable development of the successor states within a period of 10 years from the appointed day” the Minister says that the centre has in effect gone beyond and sanctioned 13 national-level institutions in Andhra Pradesh of which 10 have started functioning.
The NDA Government will continue to help the Andhra Pradesh government realise its dream of building a “sunrise state” with a world class capital, says the Union Cabinet Minister.