For several days now, Chief Minister has rarely been seen in the Andhra Pradesh secretariat in Hyderabad, the state’s shared capital with Telangana until 2024. He has rented a huge bungalow near Undavalli village in the Andhra Pradesh capital region, and been working from a swanky temporary office in Vijayawada. He stays there at least five days a week.
The bungalow will be his temporary residence while he has his old house reconstructed in Hyderabad, having had it demolished. Known as Lingamaneni Guesthouse, his temporary home belongs to an infrastructure company and is situated on the banks of the Krishna. Naidu moved in a couple of days before the foundation stone was laid for the capital in Amaravati on October 22, becoming the first to move to the capital region.
His CMO is the irrigation department’s guesthouse near Vijayawada’s PWD grounds; it has been revamped and refurnished. Many IAS and IPS officers of Andhra Pradesh frequently travel to Vijayawada and work from temporary offices set up in the guesthouse or nearby government buildings, although their main offices continue to be at the secretariat in Hyderabad.
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Telangana’s secretariat in Hyderabad, too, is functioning without its chief minister. Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao prefers to work from his office at his Begumpet home for various reasons including vastu concerns. Last week, he went to the secretariat only once, on Saturday. The bifurcated secretariat buildings will remain until Andhra Pradesh’s new capital is complete.
Naidu is primarily overseeing the planning and construction of the new capital, besides concentrating on development in other cities such as Tirupati and Vizag.
“Although, no department has been shifted officially yet, the Andhra Pradesh CMO and the departments of irrigation department, municipal administration and urban development, information and publicity are functioning from Vijayawada to a large extent,” said Parakala Prabhakar, adviser to the chief minister. “In fact, rather than officers travelling from Hyderabad to Vijayawada, it is the other way round because they are spending several days a week there and returning to Hyderabad on weekends. The chief minister is working exclusively from Vijayawada and a bungalow has been rented on the banks of the river Krishna as his residence.”
Almost all AP ministers are camping in Vijayawada. “All the action has shifted to Vijayawada now and a majority of ministers and officers of relevant departments are working from here,” said IT and Information and PR Minister P Raghunatha Reddy. The irrigation department, trying to complete all its projects by 2018, is working entirely from Vijayawada. Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheshwara Rao, incidentally, hails from Vijayawada.
The Telangana government is scouting for land elsewhere to build a new secretariat where it can accommodate all government departments on the same complex, and also provide housing to ministers, secretaries, and head of departments, an official said. KCR also has vastu concerns and feels the current secretariat is not a good place to work from.
To expand the existing CM residence complex and build a new vastu-compliant home-cum-office, at least 10 IAS officers’ quarters and staff houses behind the CM’s office were demolished recently.