AP's New Capital to be Between Vijayawada-Guntur, Hints Naidu
By Express News Service | Published: 10th June 2014 08:54 AM |
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday hinted at locating the new capital of the State between Vijayawada and Guntur.
“The new capital of Seemandhra should be centrally located for all the regions in the State. Vijayawada-Guntur stretch is one such place with substantial infrastructure. These two cities are closer to Krishna river, which can cater to the drinking water needs of the capital,” he said. However, he put a rider, saying the Centre should locate the new capital.
While addressing mediapersons at his residence after holding an informal meeting with some of his Cabinet colleagues on Monday evening, Naidu indirectly differed with the argument of Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu that a new capital need not be as big as Hyderabad.
The Chief Minister of AP said, “It is not proper to build the capital at a nondescript place. If we can set up the capital at already grown cities such as Vijayawada and Guntur, where there is substantial infrastructure, we can further transform those cities into mega cities. I want to develop the new capital in such a way that it would outclass Hyderabad,” Naidu said.
According to him, merely building administrative blocks does not fit the bill while constructing a new capital. There should be social life and liveliness in the new capital to attract investment. Hence, he wants to set up the new capital not only at a centrally located place in Seemandhra but also where there is substantial infrastructure.
“The new capital of AP should be an exemplary one for the rest of the States in the country. In the coming days, everybody should refer to it saying it is the best capital city in South India,” he remarked.
He rejected the proposal mooted by some intellectuals that head offices of various administrative departments be set up at various places across Seemandhra, instead of concentrating them in the capital.
“This is not a good idea to set up different departments at different places. It would only burden the common man as they will have to visit various cities if they have to get their work done. I will follow NT Rama Rao’s model of setting up of all departments at one place to provide easy access to commoners,” said Naidu.
Recalling that NTR had introduced the system of mandals only to create an opportunity for common man to have the offices of all departments at one place, the Chief Minister said he would also follow the same model while setting up the new capital of AP.
“I would transform the new capital into a mega city to attract investments. If we can locate the new capital in between Vijayawada and Guntur, then the conglomeration of these two cities and their peripheral areas would emerge as a mega city outdoing Hyderabad. Within no time the new capital would turn into a world-class city,” the Chief Minister felt.
When asked if such a move to develop a big capital would not once again lead to concentrated development in and around it as happened in the case of Hyderabad, Naidu replied, “I want to develop the new capital as a top-rated city to attract investments to AP. At the same time, I will decentralise development across the entire State. I will try to develop one city as education hub, another one as IT hub, the next one as industrial hub and so on.”
Recalling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to develop 100 smart cities across the country, Naidu said he would try to ensure that as many as 10 cities in Seemandhra would occupy a place in the list of those 100 smart cities.
SHARE TO LAND OWNERS
Chandrababu Naidu said his government was formulating a policy to build the new capital of Seemandhra with the participation of farmers/land owners. “I want to involve the land owners and farmers, who are likely to lose their lands while constructing the new capital of Seemandhra, in the development of the capital. I want to develop the new capital in such a way that both the government and farmers get benefit out of it,” he added. According to him, the model will provide a win-win situation for farmers and the government. “After acquiring lands from the farmers for the development of capital, we want to give 35-40 percent of their land back to them after developing it. So, the farmers would get a fixed income from the land and prosper.”