VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday minced no words on the three capitals issue, saying that if the decision was not taken now, it would badly affect future generations.
“If we do not take this decision now and continue with the older order, it would be great injustice to future generations as the cost of providing basic infrastructure in Amara-vati is pegged at `1.09 lakh crore, while spending capacity of the government is `5,000 crore,” Mr Reddy said.
He reaffirmed the establishment of an executive capital at Visakhapatnam while addressing a conclave here.
Mr Reddy said, “If we move to Visakhapatnam, which already has basic infrastructure in place, with only ten per cent of `1.09 lakh crore, I am sure Vizag will compete with Hyderabad, Bengaluru or Chennai within 10 years.”
Elaborating further, the Chief Minister said, “Amaravati is neither close to Vijayawada nor to Guntur. It is about 30 km from both cities. It is virgin land with no proper infrastructure or even a double road.”
He further said, “It is the estimation of the previous government that to provide basic infrastructure like roads, drains, water and the like, it would cost over `2 crore per acre for the 52,000 acres acquired in Amaravati. The amount the previous TD government spent was `5,677 crore. That is the capacity of any government. The Centre has given `1,500 crore and we cannot expect more. At this rate, how many years it will take to pool `1.09 lakh crores to provide for basic infrastructure?”
Mr Reddy said, “as head of Andhra Pradesh and thinking like a father, the most prudent thing to do was to take a decision of three capitals. Amaravati is not being shifted as is being propagated. It remains the Legislative Capital and Assembly will function from there. Legislators will come and stay during 60 odd days the House is in session. Visakhapatnam, which already has basic infrastructure in place, will be the Executive Capital, housing the Secretariat and Chief Minister’s office, while Kurnool, which was once the capital of Andhra Pradesh between 1953 and 1956, would become the Judicial Capital.”
He defended his decision, saying, “It is a conscious decision, which was taken by me. If we do not take such a decision, the indecisiveness will affect future generations. The decentralised development will ensure jobs and opportunities in a big way in the days to come.”...