HYDERABAD: Though Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu remains tight-lipped about the exact location of the new capital of the State, proposed near Vijayawada, his deputy KE Krishna Murthy let the cat out of the bag here Wednesday.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the revenue portfolio, dropped enough hints that the new capital is coming up at Gannavaram, Kanchikacherla, Gottumukkala and Ibrahimpatnam, near Vijayawada city.
It is learnt that some big shots in the TDP, including businessmen-turned-politicos, have recently bought vast tracts of land at these four places near Vijayawada - indicating which way the wind is blowing.
Sources told Express that the Chief Minister is planning to have the administrative blocks of the government at these four places. At the same time, as reported earlier, Naidu wants to spread the new capital city on either side of the river Krishna by linking Kanchikacherla in Krishna district with Amaravathi in Guntur district by constructing bridges across the river.
Krishna Murthy threw some light on some crucial capital questions during an interaction with the media on the occasion of the completion of the government’s 100 days in office.
Repeatedly asked about the exact location of the new capital, the Deputy Chief Minister replied, “Land prices have not gone up near Guntur city whereas land rates near Vijayawada, particularly at Gannavaram, Kanchikacherla, Gottumukkala and Ibrahimpatnam, have skyrocketed after the State government’s announcement that the new capital would be located near Vijayawada. The hike in land rates at these places clearly shows where the new capital is coming up.”
The veteran politico, who had earlier openly disapproved of the government’s plan to designate Vijayawada even as the temporary capital, disclosed that only 3,000 acres of government land is available near Vijayawada.
Strengthening the argument that Krishna Murthy is not happy over the way the State Cabinet had ignored Rayalaseema leaders’ demand to locate the new capital in the region, the Deputy Chief Minister did not show interest on the issue of the capital during the press conference.
When reporters wanted to know why Krishna Murthy, despite holding the revenue portfolio, was not included in the Cabinet sub-committee on land pooling, set up to acquire land for the new capital, he shot back, “You (reporters) all can very well understand the answer to this question by going through my statements”.
Krishna Murthy went on to add that even though the Chief Minister had wanted to include him in the sub-committee, he had politely declined the offer “for reasons well-known to all”.
“Being a Rayalaseema leader, I told Naidu I would look after the development of the region. Though I am a deputy chief minister, I also belong to one particular district, that is Kurnool. I want to ensure that projects announced by the Chief Minister to Kurnool district are implemented totally”, he said.
Market value of Lands to be hiked
Deputy CM KE Krishna Murthy disclosed that the State government was planning to increase the market value of lands in and around Vijayawada soon. “A panel, already set up by the revenue department, is examining this issue. It will submit a report to the government over the issue of enhancing market value of lands at Vijayawada. Once, the panel submits its recommendations, we will take a decision on this,” he said. He reiterated that 32,872 acres of government land is available within 10 km radius of the district headquarters across the State.