VISAKHAPATNAM: Registering his disagreement towards the state government’s move to pump all resources for development of the new capital region, CPM central executive member BV Raghavulu alleged that chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was following in the footsteps of his former counterpart late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, here Friday. He questioned the logic behind the acqusition of huge tracts of land for building the new capital.
At a seminar on ‘Backwardness of North Coastal Andhra districts; problems and solutions’, organised by CPM at Andhra University Platinum Jubilee Guest House here Friday, Raghavulu said that the government had failed to address the problems faced by people living in North coastal Andhra Pradesh. Such regional disparities would trigger another movement for a separate state, he noted. “Post- bifurcation, people of Rayalaseema and North Andhra regions had a lot of expectations about the development of their regions. But instead of developing the backward areas, the TDP government seems to be hell bent on causing destruction in the name of development and also ruin the livelihood of thousands of the poor living in rural areas,” opined Raghavulu.
Registering his dissent on land pooling, launched by the state government to acquire land for the capital city development, the CPM leader said that the party was opposed to the decision to displace the farmers and take over their rich farmlands. He alleged that the state government was turning into a realtor, promoting speculation and handing over the farmlands and resources to corporates from Singapore and Malaysia. “The government will not be able to develop any area without public participation,” he pointed out.
AU Engineering College former principal RV Ramarao said that the government was least bothered about the development of the backward areas like north Andhra. Instead, it was encouraging the corporates to loot the natural resources like bauxite and laterite mining. “The government should stop displacing farmers in the name of development. In states like Tamil Nadu, the rehabilitation of the displaced is being implemented effectively due to strong laws. The Andhra Pradesh government should enact similar laws to safeguard the interests of marginalised communities like farmers, fishermen and tribals,” he added.
KS Chalam, chairman of the Institute of Economic and Social Justice, cautioned that following the Singapore model could be suicidal for an agrarian state like Andhra Pradesh and centralised development on the lines of Singapore would sound death knell to cities like Visakhapatnam. MLC MVS Sarma said that the government had been displacing people in the name of development and employment but failed to provide employment to the locals. Retired chief engineer of the irrigation department S Satyanarayana said that lack of political will and allocation of river water had become obstacles for development of the north Andhra region.