Rajadhani Sadhana Samithi drums up support on capital location

A group of intellectuals, senior citizens, and people’s representatives began an earnest bid to persuade the Centre to set up the capital region for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh here on Friday.

A meeting convened by former MP Yelamanchili Sivaji, under the aegis of the Rajadhani Sadhana Samithi, set the ball rolling for a sustained campaign to drum up support to set up the capital within Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali, and Mangalagiri.

“This is a once in a life time opportunity to develop the coastal region. I urge all people, cutting across parties, to participate in the all- round development of the region,” Dr. Sivaji said.

Director of School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada, N. Sridharan, explained through a PowerPoint presentation the strategic advantages the region had in terms of geographical location, rail and road connectivity, market, availability of water, green belt, and educational, health, and service facilities.

Mr. Sridharan also shared his experiences in designing modern capital regions of Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, and Naya Raipur.

Naya Raipur, with an area of 95.22 square km, is being billed as a role model for building a green field capital region in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

“Modern capital regions are built on branding and marketing, decentralisation of functions, mega projects, and spatial compatibility,” Mr. Sridharan said.

A sectoral analysis of agricultural yield in the areas of Guntur and Krishna districts revealed that the yield of paddy and sugarcane had been equal to Punjab and eastern Uttar Pradesh, having the highest production of paddy and sugarcane respectively, he said.

In terms of industrial development and bank deposits, Visakhapatnam leads, but that had been largely due to investments from the public sector. Vijayawada and Guntur come close.

“The urban region of VGTM is now 1,721 sq km with ample land for further expansion,” he said, saying that a scientific study was now under way to study the region.

“A Geographical Information Survey-enabled study also reveals that the region is located at the centre of the region,” he said.

Dr. Sivaji said that the VGTM region was connected to all major towns and cities in South India. The availability of abundant groundwater, two railway divisions, medical colleges, teaching hospitals, and universities makes it an ideal place.

Earlier, director of NRI Medical College, K. Vasudeva Rao, former Vice-Chancellor of Krishna University M.K. Durga Prasad, Venkateswara Swamy Devasthanam Trust Board president Ch. Mastanayya, secretary Gummadi Radhakrishna Murthy, and professor in National Institute of Advanced Studies Carol Upadhyay spoke.

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