Secretariat shift rumours shadow Amaravati’s fate

The Velagapudi Secretariat is 18 km from Vijaya-wada, 25 km from Guntur and 14 km from Mangalagiri.

VIJAYAWADA: Doubts about whether Amaravati will continue to be the capital city of AP are increasing every day, and are gaining strength based on speculations that the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat at Velagapudi will be shifted.

Former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu used to work out of the temporary secretariat but Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy prefers to hold most reviews and meetings at his residence-cum-camp office at Tadepalli.

During the TD government, then speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao had proposed to conduct the Assembly in the Acharya Nagarjuna University campus but the plan did not materialise. Reports of officials submitting a report to the government about shifting of the Secretariat to Nagarjuna University or an adjacent private buildings is fuelling speculations among all sections of the society as well as political cirlces.

The Velagapudi Secretariat is 18 km from Vijaya-wada, 25 km from Guntur and 14 km from Mangalagiri. Most of the officials and staff stay in these towns and spend a long time travelling to their offices and back. The officials reportedly submitted a report to Mr Reddy about the shifting of the Secretariat to ANU, Mang-alagiri and Tadepalli to ease the travel time.

Further, the YSRC government has announced the development of Man-galagiri and Tadepalli by merging adjacent villages. This is being seen in line with the decision to shift the capital city.

The offices of several departments are situated at Guntur, Gollapudi and Vijayawada and preparations are being made to shift them to Tadepalli. The TD, Congress, BJP, JS and Communist Party leaders, after the stopping of work in Amaravati, have demanded that Mr Reddy clarify whether or not the capital will continue to be located there.

Indian Union Muslim League state president and AP High Court lawyer Basheer Ahmed said that the silence of Mr Reddy was creating suspicions about the continuation of Amaravati as the capital.

Telugu Desam MLC and former minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasada Rao said after the rumo-urs anout shifting of the Secretariat to Tadepalli or adjacent areas and changing of the capital spread, price of lands and houses had fallen in Amaravati.

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