Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam insists that making Hyderabad as a Union Territory till an alternative capital is built for the proposed state of Andhra Pradesh is the only way to address concerns of people from Seemandhra on bifurcation of the state.

In an informal interaction with The Hindu, the Minister said that the draft Bill on bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh does not adequately address four key issues including allocation of resources for the creation of residuary Andhra Pradesh’s new capital. President Pranab Mukherjee has given the state Legislature time till January 23 for expressing its views on the draft Bill cleared by Cabinet. The UPA Government expects to place the Bill in Parliament in February, Mr. Seelam said.

“Support for the bifurcation from 80 per cent of the ‘Seemandhara’ people will come if the youth in region feel secure that facilities and opportunities available in Hyderabad will not be denied to them till the new Andhra capital becomes functional. This will be possible if Hyderabad is made a Union Territory”, he contended.

Central Ministers from the “Seemandhara” region have demanded a financial package of Rs 20,000 crore grant per year for building the new capital in the residuary Andhra Pradesh. “The draft bill only talks of feasibility of the new capital but does not give assurance of resources,” said Mr. Seelam.

The provision in the draft bill that there should be a board for construction and execution of the Polavaram irrigation project is not acceptable, the Central Minister said: “Adding a section of two districts to the Telangana region will solve the problem of water,” he said. “There will be no disadvantage to any one by doing this people are saying.”

The Minister also said that “The Cabinet provision and the CWC resolution on Polavaram envisages a national character for the project. 300 TMC of water from the Krishna river can be saved from going waste into the sea.... The areas that will get submerged in Telangana should be added to residual Andhra so that the project can come up”.