State of AP has suffered a lot since formation. Amarajeevi Shri PottiSree Ramulu fasted until death for a separation of Telugu speaking Andhra state from Madras Presidency. The ultimate sacrifice resulted in the formation of Andhra state with the condition of Andhra people giving up the claim on Chennai city. Andhra state was formed on 1 october 1953 with Kurnool as capital and high court in Guntur as per Sribhag pact. On 1 November 1956, as perthe States Reorganisation Act, Andhra Pradesh state was formed by merging Andhra State with the telugu speaking Telangana of the already existing Hyderabad State.
To safe guard interests of Telangana Hyderabad was made the capital of combined Andhra Pradesh and high court was also shifted to Hyderabad. After 58 years Telangana was again separated from Andhra Pradesh as per Andhra Pradesh reorganization act on February 2014. Hyderabad was to remain common capital till 10 years, after which Hyderabad shall remain capital of Telangana only.
On 4 September 2014, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu, declared in the Legislative Assembly that the new capital of Andhra Pradesh state would come up in and around in between Guntur and Vijayawada. The new capital for Andhra Pradesh Amaravati was developed. On January 20 2020 AP government, under leadership of Jagan, has passed a law proposing three capitals for AP and scrapping Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). The proposed capitals are executive capital in Vizag, Legislative capital in Amaravati and judicial capital in Kurnool. Andhra Pradesh has lost 4 capitals in 7 decades.
Congress government did a mistake by a hurried division of Andhra Pradsesh state for without determining capital. Later, Union home ministry formed Sri. ShivaRamaKrishnan Committee was formed to determine the place and the manner of capital construction in Andhra Pradesh. The committee submitted report on August 27 2014.
The committee suggestions are as below
• The building of Super City or Smart City is to be opposed. The functions and institutions to be distributed across different regions
• Assembly, secretariat, the chief minister’s office should be set up in the capital city
.Government offices and departments should be distributed.
• High Court can be set up at a different place from location of secretariat and assembly.
The committee recommended location of various capital functions and institutions in the backward Rayalaseema zone. It urged to do justice to Kurnool, as it was a capital in the past for the state of Andhra and Rayalaseema people feel losing capital to Hyderabad was a historical mistake Vizag zone to be set up as high-tech zone with various related offices of industry, manufacture, ports, shipping, petrochemical industry, fisheries, IT industry and employment for development of Uttara Andhra. Some other government functions in the Nadikudi-Kalahasti zone, which will emerge as important zone of development. Also proposed Musunuru, Mangalagiri, Macherla, Gollapally, Vinukonda, Marturu, Donakonda, Pulichintala as suitable regions for Capital regions or government offices.
Capital between Vijayawada-Guntur is incorrect due to economic and environmental problems. Committee mentioned to take consensus of people of all areas and decide taking some time as Hyderabad was common capital for 10 years.
The then CM Chandrababu Naidu appointed Narayana Comission. In 2014 September, he went ahead with capital shifting hurriedly to Vijayawada -Guntur area after “Vote for Note” case. He appointed Initially Nujivedu was suggested orally. On December 30 2014, AP Capital Regional Devolopment Authority (APCRDA) Act was passed and Capital Amaravathi announced in 25 villages of Thullur, Thadepalli & Mangalagiri. Later, amidst some protests, 33000 acres of land was acquired from nearly 28,000 farmers. Farmers signed agreements with APCRDA and were to get a part of developed lands and money of 30 to 50000 compensation per year per acre for 10 years. The local agricultural laborers were to get 2500 pension per month. Secretariat, assembly, high court & some government buildings were constructed. Some were supposed to be transit. The government failed to construct many permanent structures. In subsequent elections in May 2019 TDP had crushing defeat getting only 23 seats.
One person’s loss is other’s gain. Anger against TDP resulted in good victory of YSRCP winning 151 seats. After 7 months of coming to power CM Y. S. Jagan Reddy suddenly announced the concept of three capitals in December. On January 20 2019 AP assembly repealed CRDA act and passed a law to establish three capitals in AP -executive in Vizag, Legislative in Amaravathi and Judicial in Kurnool. In 2014 Y.S. Jagan agreed with Amaravathi being single capital for AP in assembly, did not suggest three capital model and did not support the protesting farmers then. He did not suggest three capital model or shifting of capital in election campaign or manifesto, which he says is holy book to him. Three committees were formed which gave report in similar manner. No one knew when BCG committee was formed, even court questioned the same. Protests,mainly from farmers, erupted in Amaravti region. High court slammed the government over the way protestors were illtreated by police and questioned government over putting murder cases on farmers. With these three capitals proposal pandora box is opened again raising so many questions.
Why Vizag as executive main capital?
Logic of shifting executive capital is for development of all areas. Why they are shifting to Vizag, already well developed largest most populous city of AP and 4th populous in South India. It is 9th largest contributor to overall GDP of India and 9th richest city in India.It has 2 ports several pharma, IT industries, fisheries, petro complex, steel industry, sports center. It is a major tourist destination with naval base. Vizag stood first with 73,592 crores GDP in 2017 -18 and also topped second in list of per capita GDP with 1,78,166.
Develop Vizag as high tech zone and financial city suggested by Shivaramakrishnan committee to generate more income and employment.Let already constructed secretariat and assembly be continued in Amarravati.
Why not other areas? If the only goal of shifting executive capital is development of all areas. Why not shift to other areas with lesser development like Kurnool/ Vijayanagaram/ Srikakulam/ Anantapur/ Donakonda? Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Kurnool are in the last three positions of per capita income. If distance is not a criteria, then why not Srikakulam or Vijayanagaram or Anantapur?
What is the role of Capital as per government? CM says Capital will boost development. If so, why not shift to under developed area? On other side CM said capital is needed by small proportion of people and we will take governance to door step of people, so further need of capital by people decreases. In that case why to even shift Capital?
Is Vizag not cyclone prone? One reason for shifting from Amaravati is it is flood prone zone. Vizag is cyclone affected area. No one can forget recent Hud Hud and Titli cyclones which caused lot of damage in Vizag. So,why shifting to a cyclone prone area?
Is there any other state where secretariat and assembly are divided totally? This separation increases logistic and economic burdens.No other state has secretariat and assembly in separate districts. Whether CM is developing Amaravati or not?
CM told that government would fulfill promises made to farmers in agreement of APCRDA. The compensation given to farmers is increased from 50000 to 55000 and duration increased from 10 to 15 years. The pension for agriculture laborers increased from 2500 to 5000. If there are no funds to spend on capital how will they do these things?
What about agreements done between farmers and APCRDA? Govt on other hand says there is no money to spend on capital construction and hence shifting capital. So, if farmers approach court for breach of contract and take legal action what is the stand of government? Why Mini secretariat for Pulivendula, CM’s own constituency? CM has alloted 1350 crores to Pulivendula and mini secretariat. So, is he dividing executive capital again a bit to Pulivendula? Why not other place? Did government follow the protocol for shifting high court? To shift high court the state government should take concurrence of Union law ministry and Supreme court. Supreme court should notify the change of High court.
Instead of removing pest, will one remove total crop?
The allegations of insider trading charges and TDP leaders purchasing lands around Amaravti by selective breach of secrecy of oath should be investigated.The corruption done in projects around capital should also be duly investigated. The persons involved should be subjected to trial based on evidences. Instead, shifting capital or hurting farmers is not solution. Can again insider trading be the reason for suddenly shifting capital to Vizag?
Is this shifting to settle political scores?
Chandrababu naidu has alegations of working for one area and one sector of people neglecting others. People rejected him and he lost elections very badly. Now, is Jagan trying to do vendetta politics?
Is this shifting to divert money to schemes?
In order to win elections Jagan has made extravagant freebies and schemes amounting to nearly 90,000 crores, apart from salries counting for around 40,000 crores. The financial position of state is fragile and in negative balance. The state loans and dues increased were estimated to be 3.04 lakh crores by the end of 2018-19 financial year ending and are estimated to increase to increase to 3.4 lakh crores by 2019-2020 financial year.AP has to pay 40000 crores for clearing loans and interest of loans every year. In such a condition, is Jagan trying to avoid spending money on Amaravati development and divert to schemes?
The first person responsible for present situation is Chandra Babu Naidu who did not actively involve in developing permanent structures with reasonable cost.He wasted time, resources and money on unnecessary consultations and superlative constructions and wanted a centralized development in one area for political & personal advantages. Jagan who succeded him is trying to settle political disputes and not even trying to look at the already established administration work going on in Amaravati and trying to shift capital fast to already developed Vizag. He is not even considering the options of all regions development by developing high tech financial zone in already developed Vizag, establishing some departments in some relevant districts, establishing high court in rayalaseema and continuing secretariat, assembly, CM office in Amaravati.
Tax payer’s money should be utilized properly. Both of them took decisions unilaterally without concurrence of people of all regions and wasting public money. Succeeding governments should take states forward, not just waste money and time with unnecessary political changes. People of AP are the ultimate losers in this feud of casteist, family, corrupt political blame game.
One last question, What if next CM in 2024 changes Capital from Vizag again?