HYDERABAD: The expert committee constituted by the Centre to study various alternatives regarding the new capital for Andhra Pradesh, will hold further round of talks with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here Saturday before finalising its recommendations.
The five-member committee, headed by former Urban Development Secretary K C Sivaramakrishnan, had submitted its preliminary report to the Chief Minister here last month.
The committee toured Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Guntur, Anantapuram, Kurnool and Tirupati as part of its exercise to identify a suitable location for the capital of AP.
Though Naidu is said to be inclined to make Vijayawada-Guntur the capital city, he has stopped short of making a formal announcement as he is awaiting the recommendations of the Sivaramakrishnan Committee.
Simultaneously, the Chief Minister constituted a separate committee headed by state Urban Development Minister P Narayana to suggest options on the capital. Narayana met Sivaramakrishnan in New Delhi a couple of days ago and put forth certain proposals.
While clearly indicating that Vijayawada-Guntur region would be a central location, Narayana suggested that the central committee takes population and distance as criteria for locating the capital city. The four Rayalaseema districts and two south coastal districts of Nellore and Prakasam have a combined population of 2.15 crore and the farthest point in Anantapuram district from Vijayawada-Guntur was 545 km away.
Similarly, population in seven districts from Guntur to Srikakulam was 2.8 crore and the farthest point in Srikakulam district from Vijayawada-Guntur was 624 km. As the four Rayalaseema districts and three of north coastal Andhra would get a special development package under the AP Reorganisation Act, the state government intends to develop those districts industrially.
Development of coastal corridor and ports has been envisaged for other coastal districts, the minister told the expert committee.
He thus wanted the Central committee to suggest the most suitable place for the state capital.
"About 30,000 acres of land will be required for the new capital. We will identify the land once the Sivaramakrishnan Committee identifies a suitable location for the capital and makes its recommendations," Narayana told reporters here.
Against this backdrop, Sivaramakrishnan and other members of the committee will have further round of talks with the Chief Minister here Saturday.
The committee is supposed to submit its final report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs by August 31. The Chief Minister had already announced that the state government would take a decision on the capital in ten days after the Sivaramakrishnan Committee submitted its report.
Naidu wants the capital city to reflect the Telugu culture and ethos, "who we are as people, what we wish to become and the path we choose." He also wants the capital to be "conveniently located and accessible to everyone".
The state government is already drawing up plans to develop Vijayawada and Guntur, which already have good infrastructure, into "smart cities" as planned by the Centre.
According to Naidu, the capital should have a 'Brand Identity' that will "stand for all the values and virtues that we Telugus stand for. It will be founded on the pillars of Telugu pride." Naidu said it should also be a revenue generating centre and not just an administrative headquarters.