Vijayawada: The state of Andhra Pradesh will, on June 2, enter its third year after the state’s bifurcation from Telangana, a crucial year for Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s government. The people of AP had stood by Mr Naidu, nursing high hopes of his leadership.
Three years later, the situation is fraught with confusion, with various important projects, like Amaravati capital city, Polavaram project, ‘Special Category Status’ from the Centre and implementation of a development package for the backward districts in AP, not yet worked out.
The implementation of these projects will be the main challenge before Mr Naidu’s government, its very fate perhaps hinging on how progress is made.
The state government successfully completed the land pooling process by collecting 33,000 acres of lands from landowners (farming section), but delay in the execution of the work has created concern among the farmers.
It is facing financial difficulties in constructing the capital of Amaravati, envisioned as the biggest city. Mr Naidu had once declared that Rs 5 lakh crores would be required for the capital city’s construction and other development work in the state. The state government slowly trimmed its plans, and at one stage, requested the Centre for the sanction of nearly Rs 50,000 crore for these projects.
The state government could not get adequate funds from the Centre for the capital city’s construction. The BJP leadership has always been saying that the Centre was releasing funds in a phased manner, based on developments and submission of expenditure reports. Besides, the Centre may not offer financial support if plans for Amaravat’s construction become bigger.
The state government has therefore completely depended upon foreign funding agencies along with local financial institutions. How the government will convince the financial agencies of its creditworthiness while obtaining credit limit exemptions from the Centre is now going to be a real challenge to the government.
What’s more, Polavaram is like a lifeline project for AP, with its completion dependent entirely depended on the Centre. The required funds should be released by the Centre, but completion of the project within the next three years is very important for the TD government to claim it as a success in the next Assembly elections. The drawback is that the TD government has only a dependent role in the project.
Besides, the Centre did not clear the assurance of a special package for the backward areas in Rayalaseema and northern Andhra. The people of the two regions, especially two districts in Rayalaseema and one district in northern AP, may question the TD leadership if it does not introduce some development plans.
Apart from this, the creation of infrastructure in Amaravati and connectivity to other areas will be vital. Even the National Highways Authority of India has announced Rs 65,000 crore worth of projects for AP, but the government should hand over the land for this after acquiring it from landowners. What is another burden for the state is that the government has plans to start work after June this year.
Erstwhile VGTM VUDA chairman Tumati Premnath said the government would make all the required efforts this year as two or three years are required for completion of these projects.