The large-scale anti-Telangana protests by supporters of a united Andhra Pradesh notwithstanding, hoteliers and other industrialists have decided to embrace a ‘realistic approach’ by fighting for the ‘due rights’ of people in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions in the proposed new State.
“It is almost clear that the idea of a united Andhra Pradesh is not a reality any more and so we should be doing the next practical thing—gearing up to fight for the due rights of people of the two regions and plan for their secure future,” says Vijayawada Hotel Owners’ Association president K. Pattabhi Ram. Mr. Pattabhi Ram, who is also the managing committee member of Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says Vijayawada has everything that a State capital should have.
City loser in 53
“In 1953 when Andhra Pradesh State was formed, Vijayawada lost out to Kurnool. At least now, the high potential of this place must be taken into consideration. We have good road and air connectivity. The Bandar port is coming up. Besides the existing hotels, new national and international brands of hotels are coming to this city. We are gifted with the three basic requirements for development—land, water and human resources,” he says.
He says if projected in the right way, the place can become a robust tourist destination. He says Vijayawada and Guntur can be developed as twin cities on the lines of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Vijayawada is a centrally located place with more than 250 trains criss-crossing the railway station every day, while the Pandit Nehru Bus Station is the second biggest bus station in Asia.
Naya Raipur example
“You don’t need thousands of acres of land to build a capital,” he says, citing the example of Naya Raipur, the new capital of Chhattisgarh which has been built using world-class architecture and design.
“The UPA Government should come out with a white paper on the packages it proposes to offer to the Seemandhra regions. It should also include in the proposed bill key issues of power, water and revenue sharing factors before tabling it in Parliament,” he says, adding that hoteliers and industrialists are not opposed to division of the State but they were upset by the haphazard manner in which the whole activity was being carried out.
Decide to embrace a ‘realistic approach’ by fighting for ‘rights’ of people in Andhra, Rayalaseema regions