Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy surprisingly hinted about three capitals for Andhra Pradesh to serve the purpose of decentralization of development. But the proposal for three capitals confused the establishment and officialdom with the proposal to create new categories like an executive capital and a legislature capital at far places.
Mr Reddy, delivering a speech during a short discussion on existing capital Amaravati in the Assembly on Tuesday, said, “There is need for development of all areas in the State. Rs 1 lakh crore are needed for the development of Amaravati in 53,000 acres spread across a 20-km radius, hence, we should think practically.”
He said, “There is a possibility of three capitals for AP State, with a legislature capital in Amaravati, a judiciary capital in Kurnool with a High Court, and an executive capital at Visakhapat-nam.” He said, “Two committees were formed, in which one is an expert committee and another one is a BCG global consultancy. They will submit their reports in a week. Clarity would come on the basis of the committee’s reports and future plans would proceed based on those reports.” Mr Reddy alleged, “After purchasing lands in Amaravati, the TD government announced it as the capital of AP. Earlier, it had to spend Rs 1,09,000 crore on capital construction but it spent only Rs 5,800 crore in the past five years. The government has to pay Rs 700 crore interest every year on the loans borrowed for Amaravati.”
The HoDs would be located elsewhere depending on the subject they deal with, sources said.For instance, the director, seeds, would be located in Kurnool where the activity is high, while the fisheries head might be located in Kakinada given the large-scale presence of aqua culture in the two Godavari districts. The mines and geology directorate could be located in either Kadapa or Anantapur, marked by a predominant presence of mines, sources said.
Mr Reddy was keen to complete two capitals before going to next polls and may even consider a PPP model to augment the required revenues. The state government has to mobilise its own resources for funding majority of the building in the executive and legislative capitals, as the Centre has already exhausted the obligation of funding a new capital for the state in Amaravati.
Though the Centre has not released what all the state asked for, it gave Rs 1,500 crore and has agreed to give another Rs 1,000 crore. “We are estimating that it would cost Rs 4,000 crore for the executive capital and the remaining assistance from the Centre could be diverted to Vizag,” an official said, adding that the government would continue to spend on development in Amaravati.
Mr Reddy is said to be of the view that genuine farmers, who sacrificed their lands for Amaravati, should not suffer. But, to make the city liveable, the government has to spend at least another Rs 10,000 crore, according to the CRDA estimates, which means the state should be able to augment Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore to realise Mr Reddy’s dreams.
In addition, the government would also have to incur huge expenditure for officials to shuttle between various capitals. While majority communication, according to sources close to the Chief Minister, would be online, the entire state machinery of 4,000 to 5,000 employees must relocate themselves for at least two months a year to attend legislative business in Amaravati.
“We have seen a judiciary capital away from the executive capital but there is no precedent in India where the legislature and executive got separated,” an official said.
(However, Maharashtra has its Assembly in Mumbai as well as in Nagpur, while its executive capital is in Mumbai. Similarly, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir also had its legislative capital in both Srinagar and Jammu.)
The entire machinery has to stay put for one month budget session and at least 10 days each during the monsoon and winter sessions of the Assembly in a completely different capita city once the proposal is implemented....