There is no truth in the propaganda being made by leaders of south coastal Andhra that non-availability of land and geographical location diminish the chances of Visakhapatnam in its race for the capital of the residual state of Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation.
“Visakhapatnam is best suited to be the capital of Seemandhra and the other cities being showcased as the prospective capitals come nowhere near it, be it in infrastructure facilities, road, rail, air and seaport connectivity availability of water, land, location of PSUs and Defence establishments,” said Uttarandhra Rashtriya Samithi (URS) president A. Bhagavanulu.
An RTI activist and former Professor, he has obtained information, running into hundreds of pages, under the Right To Information (RTI) on the injustice done to Uttarandhra (north Andhra) during the last six decades after Independence.
Prof. Bhagavanulu sent a memorandum, based on the RTI information, to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Group of Ministers (GOM) Chairman and others. He did not remain content with mere acknowledgements to his representations and is seeking replies, under the RTI, on the action taken on them.
Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj V. Kishore Chandra Deo, who has been batting for Vizag as the capital of Seemandhra, wrote to the GOM Chairman on the availability of 27,000 acres of land, opposite the Zoo.
He suggested that this could be used to develop the new capital along with two other blocks of land measuring 9,000 acres each, which was already brought to the notice of the GOM.
The erratic groundwater availability and lack of infrastructure rule out the possibility of Ongole as the capital. Though Vijayawada has some infrastructure facilities in place, its geographic location of a landlocked city, which is saturated with concrete structures and is reeling under pressures of high density of population, there is no scope for extension to meet the needs of a state capital.
Mr. Deo affirmed that Visakhapatnam alone is the suitable location for the capital in the event of bifurcation but suggested that some facilities and institutions could be located both in Prakasam district and Vijayawada for their growth.
He favoured merging of the four districts of Rayalaseema in Telangana and formation of Rayala Telangana in view of the historical bonding between the people of those two regions.
He also opposed the idea of a common capital in a divided state and felt it should be rejected outright.