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Friday, August 2, 2013

Telengana formation - which will be the new capital of Andhra Pradesh ?

The    T    junction in Andhra is a boiling cauldron….after the decision of Congress to accede to the request for creation of 29th State, its own leaders from Seemandhra region have been unrelenting in their opposition to the creation of a separate Telangana state. Five Lok Sabha Congress MPs from Andhra region  tendered their resignation to the Lok Sabha Secretary General. Protests against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh gained momentum on Thursday with supporters of unified State enforcing the closure of various Government offices, business establishments, educational institutions and suspension of RTC buses while pressure mounted on Central and State Ministers and Members of Parliament and MLAs of all parties to resign their posts and take to the streets along with the common people without further delay.

Is it really a well-thought of move ~ is there consensus; political will to implement – how will rough edges be ironed out – Qs and more Qs – The state of  Andhra  had flourished with agriculture – some of its surplus went into the making the Tollywood – people migrated towards its capital – while unskilled rural flogged elsewhere in search of work; while middle class engineers and doctors moved to the United States there was unemployment and rural poor suffered as agrarian struggled to make their ends meet.
Thus a State created after Gandhian Potti Sriramulu went on fast unto death at Maharshi Bulusu Sambamurthy’s house in Madras in October 1952; history was to repeat in Dec 2009 when the man who represents Mahboobnagar KCR went on fast and Congress announced the creation of Telegana.  The recent elections have been fought on T platform – now after the creation there is not much of clarify / consensus on many issues.  Hyderabad is located well within Telengana and defies the logic of a shared capital though by virtue of it being the Capital remains so, for a shorter period to come  - as announced now.  

So in Indian history for the first time, we are witnessing a division of a State form on linguistic basis.  Here is something from history – for those of us who thought that Hyderabad has been the only Capital of Andhra Pradesh ever since it was formed………….

Till 1953, it was  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 - Kurnool, on the banks of sacred Tungabadra about 212 km from Hyderabad, the gateway to Rayalaseema became the capital of Andhra State from 1 October 1953 to 31 October 1956.  ~ and can you imagine what it takes to form a new Capital of a State ? - Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu wanted the Centre to be liberal in granting funds for developing the new capital city for Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) which he said should be on a par with Hyderabad. Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu said a huge amount of the order of Rs.4-5 lakh crore would be required for a new capital and unless the Centre came forward with assistance, it would become difficult to build it. 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.  By some conservative estimates at least 15,000 acres of land is  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.

So it does not appear to be a T junction but a junction to multifarious chaos…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

2nd Aug 2013.

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