Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday set up a 'high-power committee’ to examine recommendations of the G. N. Rao-led expert committee on decentralization of the state’s capital between Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.
The latest development comes after the state cabinet, led by chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, on 27 December deferred a decision to relocate the capital.
On 20 December, the expert committee, formed by the state government to look into AP’s development, recommended having Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool (in Rayalaseema region) as the legal capital, where the High Court would be, and Amaravati as the legislative capital (where the state assembly and governor’s office will be located).
According to the order issued on Sunday by Nilam Sawhney, chief secretary, AP government, the new committee will comprise Buganna Rajendranath, state minister for finance and legislative affairs, Audimulapu Suresh, state education minister, director general of police, chief secretary, secretary (municipal administration and urban development) and others. The committee will also “take into account the recommendations of Boston Consultancy Group while finalizing the strategy and way forward".
The Boston Consultancy Group has been hired by the AP government to look into the state’s all round development. The recommendations are on the lines of those stated by Jagan Reddy earlier this month in the assembly, and will undo everything that former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu had planned for Amaravati, which was to be developed as a global city.
Ever since the expert committee made its recommendations public, farmers in the Amaravati capital city region have been up in arms against it, given that Naidu’s government had pooled-in 33,000 acres of farm land from hundreds of farmers in the region to develop Amaravati. “Amaravati will continue to be the political capital, and Visakhapatnam will be the executive capital. It had good road, railway and even flight connectivity, so it won’t be an issue," said an official from chief minister’s office, who did not want to be quoted.
During his term between 2014 and 2019, Naidu had planned a start-up area, and three grand structures for secretariat, assembly and High Court in Amaravati. The 1,700-acre start-up area in Amaravati, among other projects, was scrapped by the YSR Congress Party government.
While the government order did not mention when the ‘high-power committee’ will issue its report, the CMO official added that it may come out in January itself.
A TDP leader, who did not want to be quoted, stated that farmers are very angry and that the state needs a central capital for its development. “Let us see what he (Jagan Mohan Reddy) will do," he mentioned, and added that the TDP may approach the AP High Court on this issue.