Andhra Pradesh

Our concerns on Amaravati project brushed aside, says CCF

C. Anjaneya Reddy

C. Anjaneya Reddy   | Photo Credit: K_V_Poornachandra_Kumar

‘Proposed capital area is very congested and slum-ridden’

This was bound to happen sooner or later, feel environmentalists and civil society activists about the World Bank decision to pull out of the Amaravati capital city project withdrawing its $300 million funding, taking cognisance of the violations involved in the project that threatened the livelihood of people and the fragile environment.

Social activist Medha Patkar has called it “victory of people who stood up to the intimidation and terror of the State” and warned government and financial institutions not to push their agendas without the consent of the people.

Closer home, members of the Concerned Citizens Forum (CCF) said this situation could have been avoided if the former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu heeded their plea. The CCF comprises eminent people like former Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Gopal Rao Ekbote, former Judge Lakshmana Reddy, former Chief Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh Jayabharat Reddy and, former IPS officer C. Anjayenya Reddy as its convener.

“Our efforts to persuade Mr. Naidu to give up the idea of locating the new capital between Guntur and Vijayawada were brushed aside,” recalled Mr. Anjaneya Reddy.The CCF, in a representation, had pointed out that the proposed capital area was not only far removed from the Rayalaseema region but was also very congested and slum-ridden.

‘Land expensive’

The land was very expensive here and the area was frequently battered by cyclones and storms; drainage here was bad and it should not be further strained. Most importantly, the proposed Amaravati was part of the fertile Krishna valley and should not be wasted for ‘building’ purposes. The forum reminded that use of agricultural land for construction was against the guidelines of the Government of India.

For developing the new capital, the forum batted for a place where coastal Andhra and Rayalaseem meet--along the belt traversing Donakonda, Kurichedu, Konakalametra, Markapur, Pedda Aaraveedu, Darsi, Podili and Tripruantakam mandals.

The location being 120 km away from the coast, free from cyclones, floods and drainage problems and the fact that water could be drawn from the Krishna River from Nagarjunasagar or Srisailam by gravity made it suitable for the new capital, the members said.

“That stretch has a rocky substratum, suitable for strong foundations. The place also has no history of seismic disturbances,” said Mr. Reddy, suggesting that the abutting Nallamala hill ranges could give the forest cover to the place which is well connected by both roadways and railways. “Had Mr. Naidu paid attention to what we were trying to say, the State would not be facing an enduring problem today,” said Mr. Reddy.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 11:57:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/our-concerns-on-amaravati-project-brushed-aside-says-ccf/article28691925.ece

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