Statements from ministers and YSR Congress leaders in the last two weeks on Amaravati have kicked up a storm and understandably so, since they appear to be calculated not only to revive the debate on the advisability of building a megapolis from the ground up on the banks of river Krishna but also prepare the ground for a probe into possible breach of public trust by the erstwhile TDP government. Could it be that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government is contemplating relocation of the state capital as the TDP alleges? On the face of it, such a proposition isn’t practical since for good or ill, Amaravati has been branded and partly grounded.
The intention seems to be to set aside the grandiose plans drafted by former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and decentralise the capital. Naidu, who dreams of a Baabhubalisque capital, had planned Amaravati incorporating iconic structures and mini-cities which together could cost around `1.45 lakh crore.
We believe there is nothing wrong if the state government does away with the costly dreams of Naidu. The stark reality is that the state has neither the resources nor the need for a megapolis. Decentralising the capital by shifting some of the resources to the backward Rayalaseema and North Andhra regions makes eminent sense. Besides, the recent Krishna floods, though nowhere near as deadly as they could potentially be, have also to be factored in before the government takes a final call.
The ongoing debate between the ruling and opposition parties, however, is focused less on these aspects and more on the alleged insider trading by the then TDP top brass. If at all it did take place as is being repeatedly alleged by Municipal Administration Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, it must be investigated. For, it is an unpardonable breach of public trust. The government, instead of dropping names of the alleged offenders, should place the facts in public domain and initiate action as per law. The sooner it does it the better. The current uncertainty isn’t doing anybody any good, least of all the government.