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Updated: February 28, 2014 04:16 IST

‘Mini capitals’ mooted for Seemandhra

Ravi Reddy
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Centre has put in place an action plan to develop Tier-II and Tier-III cities/towns instead of investing heavily in a new capital

The Union government has put in place an action plan to develop major Tier II and III cities/towns in Seemandhra region as ‘specialised mini-capitals’. The new capital of residuary Andhra Pradesh may be merely the administrative and political headquarters.

In a bid to contain people’s antipathy towards the Congress in the wake of the bifurcation, the Centre is said to be toying with the idea of decentralised development instead of investing heavily on new capital. The new mantra would be to develop at least eight to ten cities/towns in the region, depending on their importance.

Blue-print

Highly placed sources told The Hindu on Thursday that a blue-print presented to the Centre after the division of the State has strongly pitched for developing a new capital that would function merely as the administrative and political headquarters. “Apart from the construction of the State Secretariat, Legislature and buildings to house government departments, the Centre wants to give a fillip to other places for all round development,” sources said.

The action plan submitted to the Group of Ministers and Centre recommends developing Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Ongole, Tirupati, Chittoor, Kakinada and Anantapur as specialised hubs or mini-capitals. According to information, Visakhapatnam may turn into the fisheries and sea-food hub.

To give teeth to its plan, it has been suggested that the headquarters of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) should be shifted to the port city of Visakhapatnam to attract more investments to develop fisheries and sea-food based industries.

Kakinada will become the focal point in the development of petrochemical industries. Plans are said to be afoot to set up a corporation exclusively to meet the needs of industries dependent on gas; a corporation on the lines of one run in Gujarat Gas Company Limited. Request has already been made to Centre to revive the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) plant, the foundation for which was laid in Nellore district. Keeping in view the automobile and transport industries’ concentration in and around Vijayawada, it is likely to become the transport hub. Ongole is said to be in the race to become the engineering hub. Tirupati or Chittoor are in the reckoning to turn into agro-based and food-processing hubs in the near future while Anantapur is being tipped as the hardware electronics hub.

Connectivity

Sources said the Centre was looking at a city that has the necessary infrastructure, road and air connectivity besides much needed assured water resources. Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry are said to be one of the options before the government because of their location and accessibility to communication network.

Although no final decision has been taken in identifying the new capital, the Centre appears to be serious about ensuring decentralised development and refrain from repeating its mistake of making Hyderabad a global destination at the cost of neglect of other cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh.

I'm not sure about any of these decentralized development and other proposals like Ongole, Donakonda Capitals.

Vizag should be the capital and they should invest in Vizag. Why there is no decentralized development in any other state? Do we've have enough funds to develop connectivity between different, so called, mini-capitals?

Vizag is ideal choice. Reasonably developed city and develop it from its current state would be easier and cheaper. Without proper transport infra-structure, decentralized development is not possible and would be burden on common man.

Also, this region has no major city near-by as compared to other proposed cities. All other proposed cities are closer to Chennai/Bangalore/Hyderabad.

Vizag is strategically better place to develop new big city for INDIA.

from:  srini
Posted on: Mar 2, 2014 at 23:20 IST

I like the idea of de-centralized development.... This will be
helpfull... In the future, if someone comes up with "uttarandhra" or
stuff like that, it will be easy both for the governments and the people
to overcome the grief caused by events of bifurcation... (Trust me! If
its not for Hyderabad, people from Seemandhra no objection of
bifurcation... Its as easy as that)

from:  Satya
Posted on: Mar 2, 2014 at 20:40 IST

One capital city is very important for IT. IT employees prefer a city
that has the most number of companies since it gives them flexibility
about the employer. Due to high cost of real estate its very hard to
move from one city to another city. So having multiple IT hubs is never
going to work. My 2 cents.

from:  GK
Posted on: Mar 2, 2014 at 09:44 IST

This is not the idea of the centre.
Jayaprakash Narayana from Lokasatta party proposed this kind of
decentralised developement in the state assembly in the discussion of
the ap re-organisation bill. He also proposed special status and
package from centre to residual Andhra since the regions like
Rayalaseema is going to get huge fiscal deficit because of loss of
income from Hyderabad. He also proposed to give tax heavens to attract
industries at least for some time like in the some eastern states. He
put the arguments logically with data by comparing the different
states whcich are getting special status, packages, tax heavens with
Rayalaseema region which is far worse than those states.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: Mar 1, 2014 at 22:12 IST

There shouldn't be second thoughts about decentralized development. But I am skeptical about the choice of the cities.

If Ongole is set to become the engineering hub, Tirupati or Chittoor are to turn into agro-based and food-processing hubs and Anantapur is the hardware electronics hub why can't cities like Nellore, Kurnool or Kadapa be included in this plan? Why is the industrially most backward district in Seemandhra i.e., Kadapa left out?

from:  Trivikram
Posted on: Mar 1, 2014 at 07:49 IST

There is no denying that development should be decentralized. From that perspective, this should be the ideal plan. But I am skeptical about the choice of the cities.


If Ongole is set to become the engineering hub, Tirupati or Chittoor are to turn into agro-based and food-processing hubs and Anantapur is the hardware electronics hub why can't cities like Nellore, Kurnool or Kadapa be included in this plan? Why is the industrially most backward district in Seemandhra i.e., Kadapa left out?

from:  Trivikram
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 22:43 IST

It's simply fooling people. There are lots of its and buts. If it
does not materialize, people will be blamed by congress.

from:  ravishankar
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 16:27 IST

At last a sensible idea from the centre. There are cities with
reasonable sized population throughout coastal belt each of which
should be developed into a world class city rather than a single
capital city. Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada,
Guntur, Ongole, Nellore, Tirupathi, Kurnool, Anantapur and Chittoor
are all cities with great potential and should be developed equally.
Decentralise the decision making. Capital should have legislative
assembly,secretariat, high court and one central university with no
more than 1 to 2 lakh population. Canberra the Australian capital has
a population of 3lakhs. People should be able to resolve all issues at
their village, mandal or at most district head quarters and should
never have to go to capital city for approvals, transfers and other
mundane jobs.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 13:09 IST

Is it a pretext for bloating up real-estate prices in the coastal towns ? The politicians are mired up to their necks in a carnal union with real-estate developers.

Who will be fooled ? What matters is the amount of industrial development that is routed into the vestige of the state ? Does anybody think Ongole will compete with Hyderabad as an industrial hub ? It will be an excuse to bloat up local land prices, that's all.

from:  vakibs
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 13:07 IST

AP Needs New Leadership...

The development and future of residual Andhra Pradesh depends upon Committed leadership with clear vision and strong sense of responsibility. In the absence of good leadership all the blue prints and plans remain on papers only. Development would be a day dream in the hands of present conventional political parties. A new party with strong and new leadership is the need of the hour. People are broad and bold to support such a next generation regional party. They have fed up with all present parties with self centered leadership.

from:  Kalathuru Sudhakar Reddy
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 12:49 IST

Great idea. Decentralising the economic opportunities regionally will augur greater long term economic sustainability and prosperity for the people of Andhra. This could provide more opportunities for regional areas and everyone would benefit from this kind of development and growth.

from:  Krrishna
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 09:25 IST

This is a good idea. This will prevent future battles like the one that
happened for Hyderabad. But the Government must ensure that the capital
is easily accessible to all the people living in the State.

from:  KARTHIK
Posted on: Feb 28, 2014 at 02:01 IST
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