HYDERABAD: The confusion over the location of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh has deepened with chief minister Chandrababu Naidu having second thoughts on the Vijayawada-Guntur-region following a thumbs down from the K C Sivaramakrishnan Committee.
The committee has opposed the idea of locating the new capital in the Vijayawada-Guntur region on the grounds that the state government does not own sufficient land there.
Sources said the Sivaramakrishnan Committee members informed Naidu that it would be highly expensive to develop the capital city between Vijayawada-Guntur as most of the land there belongs to private parties and acquiring it would cost the exchequer Rs 50 lakh per acre. The committee cautioned that relying on the Centre for financial help to develop the capital city would not be correct if previous instances are any indication. During the reorganization of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the then NDA government had given only Rs 738 crore to Chhattisgarh, Rs 200 crore to Jharkhand and Rs 438 crore to Uttarakhand for constructing their new capitals.
“The committee made it clear that no government would be able to fund the capital city development which may cost over Rs 1.2 lakh crore as per the AP government estimates,” said a member of the state capital committee. According to him, the Sivaramakrishnan panel suggested to the CM to focus on employment generation which is possible only though industrialization of all districts. “The TDP government should focus on getting more natural gas from the KG basin to boost industrialization of the new state which is likely to face a huge employment crisis due to loss of Hyderabad. This was the advice of the panel,” said the sources.