Hyderabad: The YSR Congress is putting the final touches on a draft plan that will set out its vision for the new capital of Seemandhra and chart the growth trajectory of the state.
The plan is as much to commit to paper the vision that party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has for Seemandhra, as it is to take on the development plank of Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, who is highlighting the growth of Hyderabad as his USP.
With Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy campaigning in Seemandhra for the May 7 elections, his backroom boys at Banjara Hills, together with experts from international consultations, are finalising the development strategy with party seniors like Dr M.V. Mysoora Reddy and others.
The document, rather prosaically called ‘Development Strategy for Seemandhra’, is based on the more evocatively titled philosophy, ‘9 Pillars of Growth’ and is expected to be released soon. The YSRC expects nine pillars, capital city, industrial corridor, connectivity, power, tourism and entertainment, health, education, agriculture and water to support gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth of 9 per cent as against to the current 7 per cent (or $123 billion from $52 billion in last year).
All crucial buildings and units will be located away from the sea to protect them from cyclones. The YSRC’s grandiose plan for the capital includes green zones, innovation hubs, self-contained townships, recreation zones, health and education hubs, Smart City initiatives.
For the citizens, the new capital will have walkable neighbourhoods and cycling zones, and self-contained residential units. It will have over 100 community parks, 60 per cent green area and will have an eco-efficient architecture and make use of renewable energy.
The plan includes a 50-acre park for every citizen within walking distance, apart from grocery shops and offices to reduce use of vehicles. The focus of the Smart City concept will be seen in intelligent transport, including Metro Rail, solar lighting and waste management apart from security operations.
At its core, the YSRC aims to build grand state buildings and the Vidhan Sabha area reflecting the state’s cultural heritage. A 500-acre central Vidhan Sabha garden will create a foreground for the government buildings in the manner of the Cubbon Park in Bengaluru.
The party plans to build a monument that will be an international icon for the city, like the India Gate is for Delhi, the Lincoln Memorial symbolises Washington, the Gateway of India marks out Mumbai and Hyderabad’s Charminar. A cultural community centre will surround the core city.
So as to protect the city’s skyline, the YSRC plans mixed use development of residential and commercial areas with low, medium and high-rise residential buildings.
The YSRC expects its 500-acre innovation hub to attract entrepreneurs, thinkers and investors from around the world.
The industrial corridor in the plan is estimated to generate output worth Rs 46,000 crore, and create jobs for three million people.
For growth, the plan includes petroleum-petrochemical, mining and manufacturing and agro and marine processing with clusters for leather and textiles, IT/ITES, logistics and cold storage chains.
The development documents plan the creation of the largest private port in Asia, five internationally competitive airports, high-speed rail, new roads and development of National Waterway-4, all of which will contribute to growth by 2 per cent.
Just the multi-modal transport system will generate job opportunities and boost employment by 4 per cent.
The focus in the power sector will be on additional generation capacity, especially renewable energy, to make Seemandhra a power-surplus state.
Four exclusive sites for wind-funnel technology, eight planned thermal power plants can boost the state’s capacity by 20,000 MW in 10 years.
The YSRC document proposes to hawk the coastline, beautiful temples and natural beauty for ‘3S’, sun, sand, shore tourism. Besides, there is the Buddhist trail and religious tourism destinations. The entertainment zone in the document proposes a well-equipped entertainment beach corridor with a world-class oceanarium. This particular development alone is expected to create 5.5 lakh job opportunities in the new state.
The plan being what it is, the party still faces a reality check in Indian conditions. Most of the ideas appear to be borrowed from foreign cities, in the belief that the best is being showcased.
However, those advanced nations do not have the challenges India faces in terms of its huge population, millions of them living barely above the poverty line and poorly education. The plan also appears not to have factored in the legendary Indian indiscipline, not to mention resistance from varied interests groups, both environmental and political.
If Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy still pulls it off, or even significant parts of it, it would be a remarkable achievement....