Andhra Pradesh

Vizag can overtake Hyderabad in development: Botcha

Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Botcha Satyanarayana addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Botcha Satyanarayana addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam

‘Naidu, Sujana should spell out their stand on development of backward areas’

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister Botcha Satyanarayana on Sunday challenged TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and BJP MP Y.S. Chowdary to clarify whether they wanted development of backward areas of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra and justified decentralised development in all 13 districts mooted by the YSR Congress Party government.

Stating that Visakhapatnam could be developed better than Hyderabad with an investment of ₹10,000 crore if it was made the Executive capital, he told reporters here that no final decision had been taken on creating three capitals in the State.

Mr. Satyanarayana, member of newly-constituted high-power committee to study the financial condition, ways and means for utilisation of available resources and decentralised development, said they would study the reports submitted by the expert committee headed by former IAS officer G.N. Rao and the Sivaramakrishnan Committee.

He said they would submit the report to the Cabinet after taking into consideration the recommendations of the committees as well as the Boston Consulting Group, which was scheduled to submit its report on January 3.

The Minister charged Mr. Naidu with siphoning off of funds and wasteful expenditure and ‘neglecting’ construction of Amaravati during the five-year rule of TDP. He had spent just ₹5,400 crore, including ₹1,500 crore released by the Centre, whereas he envisaged development of Amaravati in two phases with an investment of ₹1.05 lakh crore. “I don’t understand for what purpose he borrowed ₹1.95 lakh crore,” he wondered.

Mr. Satyanarayana said Mr. Chowdary was acting as a ‘puppet’ of Mr. Naidu and trying to blackmail the State government by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not support the three capitals idea. “In a federal set-up, it is the prerogative of the State to decide where the capital/capitals will come up in the larger interest of the people. We will inform the decision once we come to a conclusion,” he said.

Asked whether the Centre would release funds for development of Executive capital in Visakhapatnam, he said they would insist on fulfilment of all the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act. He also ridiculed as to why TDP wanted a capital by acquiring over 30,000 acres just to house Assembly, Secretariat, High Court and quarters of the officials and said that the construction cost at Amaravati was exorbitantly high.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:50:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vizag-can-overtake-hyderabad-in-development-botcha/article30427774.ece

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