Ever since Jaganmohan Reddy took over as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, there were rumbles of the capital being shifted away from Amaravathi after the new regime ordered an investigation into all administrative decisions of the Naidu government. With dubiety over the YSRCP government’s plan to continue the capital city that was the brain-child of the previous CM, BJP has been demanding clarity from the government. MP TG Venkatesh claimed that Jagan is planning four capitals for the state while BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao demanded to know what plans the CM has for the capital.
Republic has accessed inside details of the Andhra government’s strategy for capital development. Our sources have confirmed that no relocation of the state capital will take place but decentralisation of development is their blueprint. The state secretariat, assembly, state government offices and the Andhra Pradesh High Court will be situated in Amaravathi but the government will seek investment for several other cities in the state. To avoid a situation like Telangana where the growth has mostly been Hyderabad centric, other cities like Visakhapatnam, Tirupathi, Vijayawada and Kurnool will also get impetus.
In addition to that, the coastline of Andhra Pradesh which spans 974 kilometres too will get a boost to ensure that places like Kakinada and Srikakulam will get their share of attention by investors and government alike. Last week, farmers who had given land to build the capital in 2015 protested at Velagapudi, insisting that Amaravathi should continue being the state capital. Contesting Urban Development Minister Botsa Satyanarayana’s statements that the area is a flood-prone region, the farmers said that so far, none of the villages which have been acquired have faced floods.
In 2015, close to 24,000 farmers gave up their fertile land to make way for the state capital to be built near Vijayawada. But over 4 years later, many have been questioning the progress promised by the previous government which has missed several deadlines and are worried that because Amaravathi has been a non-starter, the grand plans for it might fizzle out.