Andhra Pradesh

‘Three capitals’ a cautious decision to ensure justice to all regions: A.P. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy

If the government spent 10 per cent of ₹ 1.09 lakh crore on Visakhapatnam, it would become a growth engine capable of competing with Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad in about 10 years

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has asserted that the decision to have separate seats of governance at Amaravati (Legislative), Visakhapatnam (Executive or Administrative) and Kurnool (Judicial) was a cautious one prompted by the benefits of decentralisation and the State’s shoe-string budget.

Sharing his views on the idea of ‘three capitals’ which kicked up a political storm and triggered protests by farmers in the existing capital region, at Excellence in Education an education conclave organised by The Hindu Group and moderated by its Chairman N. Ram here on Wednesday, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said even if the government spent 10 per cent of ₹ 1.09 lakh crore on Visakhapatnam, it would become a growth engine capable of competing with Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad in about 10 years.

Investments were bound to come in and youth would find jobs within the State if Visakhapatnam was given a fillip.

Can’t spend on grandiose plans

Completing former CM N. Chandrababu Naidu’s dream capital which is neither in Vijayawada nor in Guntur and lacked even a two-lane road entailed an expenditure of ₹ 1.09 lakh crore on the basic infrastructure alone at the rate of a whopping ₹ 2 crore per acre as per the previous government’s reports.

“The present government is not in a position to spend huge sums on such grandiose plans. Plus, the Central government has so far given only ₹ 1,500 crore and it might at best come up with an additional funding of ₹ 1,000 crore,” the CM said.

No land bank in Amaravati

“Besides, there was no land bank in Amaravati. If the lands where construction activity is not permitted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the River Conservation Act were to be excluded, the State was left with just about 5,200 acres,” he added.

Taking these things into consideration, the government has decided to split the capital into three parts to do justice to all regions, the CM pointed out.

Capital cronies

While saying that, the CM said he would not speak much on the purchase of large chunks of land by cronies of Mr. Chandrababu Naidu in Amaravati before it was declared the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the TDP Government had spent ₹ 5,677 crore at a high interest of 10.32 per cent due to its dependence on borrowings. It was, therefore, prudent to limit the expenditure.

In bifurcation impact context

Mr. Ram said he was asking about the concept of three capitals, the resource crunch faced by the State, its plans to revolutionise education etc. Because, they could not be talked about in isolation in the context of the impact of bifurcation.

Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy clarified that the Legislative Capital would continue to be in Amaravati and it would witness growth in the natural course. “Amaravati is not being deprived of anything,” he stated while pointing out that it was to give Rayalaseema its due share in the process of development that the Judicial Capital was proposed to be set up in Kurnool which was the capital of Andhra State from 1953 to 1956.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:07:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/three-capitals-a-cautious-decision-cm-jagan/article30742601.ece

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