Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Friday has deferred taking a decision on relocating the state capital. The decision comes amid strong protests by farmers from the region against moving the administrative capital of the state from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
According to PTI, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy reportedly told his colleagues there was no hurry to undertake the exercise, which has created some unrest among people. Before firming up its decision on the capital and related issues, the government would constitute another high-powered committee to study the report of the experts committee and also the soon to be submitted report of an international consultancy firm, the report quoted sources as saying.
The Cabinet discussed the recommendations of a six-member committee of experts, headed by retired IAS officer G N Rao. It had recommended formation of three-capitals – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool as part of decentralisation of administration.
The government had also engaged a private consultancy firm -- Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Report – to work out a comprehensive plan for the formation of three capitals.
BCG had submitted an interim report to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy a few days ago, suggesting that a "brownfield capital would be best suited rather than a "greenfield capital" that involves huge costs.
The BCG reportedly referred to the capitals of various countries like Brazil, Sri Lanka and how they were developed.
"For a state like ours, the BCG felt a brownfield capital will do, where the cost of development will be minimal, a top official told PTI.
BCG is expected to submit its final report on January 3, 2020, after which the government will constitute a high-powered committee with bureaucrats to analyse the reports of the G N Rao committee and the international consultancy firm.
The high-powered committee will submit its recommendations to the state government, based on which a final call on the state capital and related issues will be taken, according to Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani).
"We will also take the views of the farmers, who gave up fertile agricultural land for the development of Amaravati and listen to their grievances before taking a final call on the capital issue, Nani told a media briefing after the cabinet meeting.
The Chief Minister had indicated on December 17 that Andhra Pradesh could have three capitals, on the lines of South Africa, as decentralization was a real concept.
The existing capital Amaravati, which is only in the basic stages of development, could become the "Legislative Capital", port city Visakhapatnam the "Executive Capital" and Kurnool the "Judiciary Capital", he had hinted.
This, however, triggered an agitation in the Amaravati region with farmers who had given up their land for the proposed capital city taking to the streets demanding that the government drop its plan to relocate AP's capital. Opposition parties too have opposed the Chief Ministers idea.