Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat during his visit to Delhi and explained his plans to assign four new capitals for the state.
Reddy, who was in the national capital for the inter-state council meeting on the development initiatives being undertaken in Maoist-hit areas, is said to be mulling over the idea to establish capitals in Vizianagaram, Kakinada, Guntur and Kadapa in a bid to decentralise development.
According to YSRCP Sources, during his meeting with Amit Shah, Reddy is said to have highlighted his proposal to make Amaravati only the administrative capital while pushing for development in the other four cities as well. For this, the state government plans to establish Regional Development Boards.
Following the recent flooding of the Krishna River, which led to road links being cut off between Amaravati and Vijayawada several political leaders, local farmers and members of the business fraternity raised concerns over the city being chosen as the capital.
The Minister for Municipal Affairs Botsa Satyanarayan himself struck controversy when he said that Amaravati is not the safest capital at all after 8 lakh cusecs of water, which was let through the Prakasam Barrage, drowned the river-front areas.
The cost of construction is also said to be significantly higher in Amaravati as compared to the other areas in the state. Several political parties including the opposition Telugu Desam Party and Janasena, however, hit out at the government’s plans to shift the capital city from Amaravati.
Responding to their criticism, Satyanarayana said that the discussions are going on over the issue. He also blamed the previous Chandrababu Naidu government citing likely corruption in land deals.
“The previous TDP government and leaders purchased huge amounts of land before announcing the capital. The government will explore the names and details of those who are indulging in this. We can only give more clarity over this after further discussions.”
Among other issues that were taken up during the discussion between the Andhra Pradesh CM and Amit Shah was the matter of financial aid to the state and reverse tendering in respect of the Polavaram headworks and hydel power project.