Retired IAS officer Thota Chandrasekhar Rao is YSRC's MP candidate for Eluru

YSR Congress MP candidate for Eluru, Thota Chandrasekhar Rao, has pitched for location of the capital city for the residuary Andhra Pradesh between Hanuman Junction and Eluru. “The place is ideal on every count when compared to all the other areas under consideration for building the State capital”, asserts Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao, a retired IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre with a rich experience in urban planning and development in an interview to The Hindu.

He said none of the areas promoted for capital formation such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Donabanda in Prakasam district and Kurnool enjoys as much locational advantage as Eluru-Hanuman Junction enjoys in terms of availability of water, rail, road, air and waterways connectivity and the scope for urban growth, he stated.

The stretch, centrally located right in the middle of the 970 km coastal corridor meandering from Nellore to Visakhapatnam on the main railway line, is well connected with two airports—one at Gannavaram and the other in Rajahmundry—and the Chennai-Kolkata National Highway. It is also nestling between two major ports at Machilipatnam and Kakinada, endowed with a rare natural gift of receiving water from the two mighty rivers of the Godavari and the Krishna, he says. Location of a world famous wildlife sanctuary in Kolleru and the Godavari offering itself as a favourite destination for river tourism are an added advantage for any place to host the State capital, he said.

Mr. Rao said 2 lakh acres of government land was available on two different patches near Nuzvid on the oneside and Denduluru on the other which would come in handy at a time when the talk of development hubs was gaining currency. If the long-pending proposal for formation of a railway line connecting Bhadrachalam and Kovvuru would become a reality, the journey time from Hyderabad to the State capital, if located in the Hanuman Junction-Eluru section, would come down by 150 km, he added.

Citing his experience in development of Nagapur, Thane, Kalyan and Mumbai cities in Maharashtra during his stint as a senior bureaucrat, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao emphasised the need to create a ‘win-win situation’ for the farmers whose agricultural lands were required for development of the capital region. The land losers could be made winners by involving them in the development process by way of giving back a substantial portion of their lands with escalated real estate value after using a chunk of lands for infrastructure development like ring roads, he said.