HYDERABAD: With the Sivaramakrishnan Committee, constituted by the Union government to identify a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, ruling out the much-touted Vijayawada-Guntur-Mangalagiri-Tenali (VGTM) area, the Concerned Citizens’ Forum, which has been asking the Andhra Pradesh government to set up the new capital at a place acceptable to both Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra, has suggested Donakonda region in Prakasam district.
The forum, while welcoming Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s initiative to convene an all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus on the capital question, warned that if the State government, under pressure from certain quarters, decides to go ahead with its decision to make VGTM the capital, it would lead to unrest in Rayalaseema and further division of the State.
Speaking to reporters here Monday, forum convenor and former director general of police C Anjaneya Reddy, former chief secretary K Jayabharat Reddy, Justice P Lakshman Reddy, and Desam Sudhakara Reddy said the forum believes a medium-sized city with about one million population and acceptable to both Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra and where there is enough government land should be developed as the new capital.
“In our view, Donakonda region is most suitable as here over 65,000 acres of government land is available that can be used as resource for raising funds for infrastructure development,” Anjaneya Reddy said. Though the AP government had information about land availability for the capital in the Rayalaseema region, it did not pass it on to the Sivaramakrishnan Committee forcing them to look for the capital city in Coastal Andhra, he alleged.
The AP government was working with a pre-determined mind and was not looking at various alternatives available for capital city, he said. The AP government’s inclination to develop the new capital between Vijayawada and Guntur would not be advisable as it would destroy fertile deltas and lead to displacement of a largely agrarian population of Krishna and Guntur districts, he warned. Opposing Sivaramakrishnan Panel suggestion Reddy said such a move would lead to confusion.