HYDERABAD : The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has opposed the decision of Andhra Pradesh government to locate the Capital in Vijayawada-Guntur region and said capital in that region is unacceptable.
In a press release, HRF president S Jeevan Kumar and general secretary VS Krishna said HRF concurs with the recommendation of the Sivaramakrishnan committee that locating the capital in Vijayawada-Guntur zone would entail loss of very precious agricultural land that would have a negative impact on food production and displace several people dependent on agriculture for livelihood. They said discarding the committee recommendation would be a historic blunder.
HRF leaders said a single super-city being touted by the TDP government is undesirable. The capital must be more or less centrally located and accessible to all parts of the state, but at the same time, land acquisition for it must involve minimal displacement and environmental damage, they said. They emphasised the need for more decentralised official activity.
HRF leaders also objected to certain recommendations of the Committee and said the report was a perfunctory exercise, not based on wide data collection and through research. Where was the need to rush through the report when the committee could have sought extension of deadline so as to bring out a more comprehensive one? they wanted to known.
“Most glaring in the report is the omission of the acute predicament of adivasis and fishermen. If the committee was at all sensitive to their needs, it would have placed on record its serious disquiet to both the Polavaram project and the Vizag-Chennai PCPIR industrial corridor as they would devastate these communities. It does no such thing. Some of the formulations in the report are plainly contradictory. For instance, it is stated that sustainable development must be a core principle and yet it endorses the Dugarajapatnam port proposal even though it will threaten the highly eco-sensitive Pulicat Lake. Indeed, an uncritical acceptance of the current destructive economic model, instead of a people-driven and inclusive one, is a major failing of the report,” they explained.
HRF leaders appealed to the government not to rush through finalising the Vijayawada-Guntur region as capital, but wanted it to take some more time and come to the final decision only after wider consultation and taking into consideration the opinion of all sections of people, particularly those in Rayalaseema and other backward regions of the state.