HYDERABAD: The Sivaramakrishnan committee seems to have agreed to the idea of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is reportedly planning to build the new capital of the State at a place where land is available in Guntur and Krishna districts and connect it with Vijayawada-Guntur stretch with an express highway.
The committee suggested to the government to locate the new capital at a place close to an already developed city and not within a city in middle of the state.
Stating that Bhubaneswar model is best suitable for the new capital of AP, Sivaramakrishnan on Saturday said, “Capitals such as Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Islamabad (Pakistan), Putrajaya (Administrative territory of Malaysia) and Brasilia (Brazil) are ideal models for AP.”
He explained that these capitals are nearer commercial centres in their respective states/countries and not within cities. For example, Bhubaneswar is adjacent to Cuttack; Gandhinagar close to Ahmedabad; and Islambad near Rawalpindi.
Hence, Sivaramakrishnan wanted AP to follow these models so as to lessen the population burden on the capital, while keeping it close to a developed city.
Members of the committee had a two-hour-long meeting with AP Chief Minister Naidu here on Saturday. As the committee is expected to submit its report to the Union government on the new capital for AP by the middle of August, the meeting assumes significance.
Emerging from the meeting, Sivaramakrishnan told reporters that Naidu wanted the capital at a centrally located place in the State.
Asked whether it would be Vijayawada-Guntur stretch, he replied that it was one of the suggestions given to the panel.
However, Sivaramakrishnan felt that finding vast stretches of land is a major constraint in Vijayawada and Guntur. Moreover, if the new capital is located on this stretch, fertile land would be lost.
Hence, the panel was against locating the capital right in the Viajayawada-Guntur stretch. Instead, it suggested to the government to locate the capital at a place nearer this stretch, where degraded forest land is available.
“That is why, when I say Vijayawada and Guntur, I don’t mean that the new capital should come up there itself. It should be in the middle of AP. We should look at Vijayawada/Guntur as a region and not as a single city. That means we should look at developing adjouning areas of this stretch,” Sivaramakrishnan said.
Stating that acquiring land is the main problem in AP as land prices are very high there, Sivaramakrishnan said they had asked Naidu not to set up all administrative offices of the government only at one place.
“Naidu is also concerned about this. He wants decentralised development across the State,” he said. When asked about the demand of Rayalaseema people that the capital be located in their region, Sivaramakrishnan replied, “Rayalaseema people want revision of water management policy for their region.”
He further felt bifurcation of AP is an unprecedented one in Indian history as capital city was given to the newly formed State.