HYDERABAD: The AP Reorganisation Act, which came into force on March 1, 2014, provided for the reorganisation of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh. The formation of a new capital city - critical for its administration, economic development, and cultural integration - is an immediate priority for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh. Acknowledging the injustice done to the successor State of Andhra Pradesh, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has himself assured the people of the State complete support of Government of India for creation of a world class capital city. The government of Andhra Pradesh has already initiated a very rigorous process, involving world’s leading urban development professionals, to conceptualize, design, plan, and build the new capital city.
In addition, in accordance with Section 6 of the Act, on March 28, 2014, the GoI constituted “an expert committee to study various alternatives regarding the new capital for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and make appropriate recommendations”. The five-member expert committe, headed by Shri KC Sivaramakrishnan, submitted their final report to the GoI on August 27, 2014. The government has examined the report of the committee in detail. The committee has studied multiple options, and also highlighted the need to ensure balanced regional development. The committee has explicitly acknowledged that the “decisions regarding capital city or location of capital functions is a prerogative of the AP Government in consultation with the central government”.
Capital Around Vijayawada
In this context, the cabinet of the government of Andhra Pradesh met on September 1, 2014 and resolved to locate the capital city in a central place of the state, around Vijayawada, and to go for decentralized development of the State with 3 Mega Cities and 14 Smart Cities. It is proposed to go for Land Pooling System to be worked out by a Cabinet Sub-Committee. This decision of the cabinet is a reflection of the popular sentiment, and is affirmed by views expressed in the representations received by the Sivaramakrishnan Committee itself. Nearly 50% of the representations received by the committee favoured Vijayawada-Guntur region as the best location for the capital area. In this context, as resolved by the cabinet, the state government is of the opinion that the interests of the entire state and its balanced development can be best served by locating the capital city at a central place around Vijayawada. This would enable equal access to people from all regions of the state. In fact, the balanced development of all the regions and districts of the state is the foremost priority of the state government. It has already proactively initiated several measures and projects to achieve this objective.
Despite daunting challenges, the state government would like to convert the crisis into an opportunity. It has already taken up several important political steps to strongly signal its commitment to a balanced regional development of the entire state. The first meeting of the legislature party to select the chief minister was held at Tirupati, the swearing in ceremony of the cabinet was held at Guntur, the first cabinet meeting was held in Visakhapatnam, and the first Independence Day was celebrated at Kurnool. It has also been decided to hold the Independence Day each year at different district headquarters.
In Mission Mode
The state is endowed with rich natural and human resources. The people are known for their entrepreneurial spirit. In order to overcome the challenges posed by the bifurcation and realise its potential, the government has decided to adopt a mission approach to development. The government is launching seven missions, five grids and four campaigns in order to take the state on a speedy path of development. The missions cover:
1. Primary Sector
2. Urban Mission with Smart Cities
3. Industry Mission
4. Infrastructure Sector
5. Service Sector
6. Skill Development Sector
7. Social Empowerment
In order to give universal access to Water, Power (24X7), Gas (every house), Road (every village BT) and fibre optic-broadband connectivity, the government will launch five grids. To make development a people’s movement we have launched four campaigns:
1. Pedarikam Pai Gelupu
2. Polam Pilustondi
3. Badi Pilustondi
4. Neeru - Chettu
The government has done a comprehensive study of prevailing conditions, potential, and economic growth strategies of each district and formulated clear district development plans. These plans combine milestones and targets for both improvements of social indicators and Gross District Domestic Product (GDDP) and Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for different sectors. It shall be our endeavour to use the seven missions, five grids, and four campaigns to help all districts realise a similar level of GDDP.