For Andhra and Rayalaseema, what next after Madras, Kurnool and Hyderabad?

It seems the State capital has always been jinxed for the Telugu-speaking population in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and now they have to search for their fourth capital city in 60 years. Not only that, as per rough estimates, the government has to spend a minimum of Rs. 3 lakh crore for creating and developing the State headquarters, informed sources said. “Where will the money come from?”

In fact, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu recently claimed that about Rs. 4 lakh crore was required.

Till 1953, people in the Telugu-speaking areas of the present Andhra and Rayalaseema regions were going to Madras (now Chennai), which was the capital of the integrated Madras Presidency. On October 1, 1953, the State of Andhra was formed as per the recommendations of the States Reorganisation Commission and Kurnool (now in Rayalaseema) was declared its capital.

On November 1, 1956, when the State of Andhra and the State of Hyderabad (Telugu-speaking areas under the Nizam rule) were merged to form the present Andhra Pradesh, the capital was shifted to Hyderabad. Now with the declaration made for forming a Telangana State, the Seemandhra people will have to again search for a new capital city. The names doing the rounds include Ongole, Guntur, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

Sources in the Andhra Pradesh administration said it was not an easy job to develop a new capital as Hyderabad would be the joint capital for only 10 years and after that it would go to Telangana.

They claimed that at least 15,000 acres of land was required for building the civil Secretariat, the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council, Raj Bhavan, quarters for the Chief Minister and Ministers, IAS/IPS and other officials, civil servants; helipads, stadiums and conference halls for big events.

If the capital comes up in an already developed city, then the government expenditure would be heavy by way of compensation to private owners as a vast area of land is required. If a totally new location is selected, then road, air and rail connectivity and other infrastructure will have to be developed, according to the sources.

For 2013-14, the Andhra Pradesh government presented a Rs.1.61 lakh-crore budget and the Planning Commission fixed a plan outlay of Rs. 59,422 crore(including for Centre-sponsored schemes), the highest allocation for any State.