Vijayawada: For thousands of government and secretariat staff, it seems that it is time to do an encore of shifting their base for a second time within a few years — this time from Amravati to Vizag.
However, the YSRC government seems to be, after having dropped enough hints about being firm on the three capitals formula, thinking of announcing attractive incentives to placate and woo the discontented government staff so that they agree to move to Vizag without much disgruntlement.
The high-powered committee appointed by the government is reported to have discussed the issue of how to convince employees to shift to Vizag.
Plots and interest free loans may be offered
It has been between three to four years since the secretariat staff and other government employees shifted to Amaravati from Hyderabad.
The committee had also submitted a report with 14 recommendations that need to be extended to government staff for them to shift their base to Vizag. It is learnt that the government is contemplating, among other idea, to offer plots developed by the VMRDA, Rs 25 lakh interest free loan to construct a house, shifting allowance of Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh as per cadre as shifting allowance.
The committee also recommended that necessary orders be issued to all schools, colleges and other educational institutions to admit children of government staff without taking any donations and creating additional supernumerary seats. Around 50 per cent concession in rail fares to staff who travel from Vizag to Hyderabad, Vijayawada and other native places and introduction of a new train on a daily basis between Vizag and Hyderabad with limited halts are among the other ideas put forth by the committee.
When the-then chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu decided to shift his entire administration from the joint capital Hyderabad in 2016 to Amaravati, initially, there was resistance from the employees. However, Mr Naidu could convince them to shift to Amaravati.
Around 10,000 government staff, including those working in the secretariat, shifted to Amaravati in 2016, as part of which, 32 government departments and 89 directorates were shifted from Hyderabad.
Employees faced many hardships in shifting to Amaravati, which didn’t have much social infrastructure. With the sudden demand, the rents too skyrocketed.
Some employees even decided to travel daily from Hyderabad to Amaravati. For such employees, a new special train was introduced to commute between Hyderabad and Amaravati. To further motivate employees to work from Amaravati, the TD government brought in a five-day week work culture.
“We have discussed the overall development of 13 districts, but in particular, Guntur, Krishna and Praksam districts. There is need to address regional imbalances, which may lead to spurt in regional sentiments and angst in the future. The state needs decentralisation of development and government. The committee will again meet on January 13, in which, we may take a final view on what needs to be recommended to the government. The committee will consider both reports. We will take opinions and suggestions of all stakeholders before submitting recommendations,” said Perni Vernkataramaiah, transport minister.