The report submitted by Sivaramakrishnan committee on the location of new capital of Andhra Pradesh came as a rude shock to Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu. For the last few weeks, Naidu has been marketing Vijayawada-Guntur as the new capital region and even made a statement to that effect in his August 15 speech.
He also announced Vijayawada as the make-shift capital for the State and directed shifting of offices from Hyderabad. However, the committee made it clear that Vijayawada-Guntur region is unsuitable to the capital, as it does not have barren lands and the government has to acquire fertile agriculture lands, which would seriously affect the agriculture sector.
Instead, it suggested a decentralised model for the capital, with Martur-Donakonda region between Guntur and Ongole as the ideal location for government offices. If the Centre has to go by the committee report, it will definitely upset the plans of a powerful community of the region to capitalise on the capital formation and make quick money. Already, these community people acquired large tracts of land and jacked up the real estate prices.
That is the reason why Naidu asked them to keep silent for the time being and not to make contradictory statements on the capital. He is most likely to lobby for Vijayawada with the Centre in the coming days.