The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet has given its nod for establishing the state capital between Vijayawada and Guntur. The decision came after a five-hour long meeting held Monday. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to speak on the issue in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Tuesday. The Cabinet also decided that in case of any problems related to acquisition of land in some areas in the Vijayawada-Guntur stretch, the government would look for alternative sites in Nuzvedu in Krishna district, 42 km away from Vijayawada.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has asked his Cabinet colleagues not to make any statements in public about the capital city while informing them that the state capital would be established according to the Cabinet’s decision. Suggestions and recommendations made by the Sivaramakrishnan Committee also came up for discussion during the Cabinet meeting and several ministers are learnt to have opined that certain suggestions could be used by the government while establishing the new capital city.
Sivaramakrishnan Committee has opposed the Vijayawada-Guntur stretch stating that it could cause ecological problems as vast stretches of land are still under cultivation which would be converted into a concrete jungle. Instead, the committee has suggested that the capital city be built in sections in several areas utilising available government and waste land. The committee has not suggested or recommended any particular location to develop it as a capital but has outlined the pros and cons of at least eight locations, including Martur and Vinukonda, both of which are about 55 km from Guntur town.
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The five-member panel headed by former urban development secretary K Sivaramakrishnan identified three sub-regions — Vizag region in North Andhra, Rayalaseema ‘Arc’ comprising Kurnool, Anantapur, Tirupathi, Kadapa and Chittoor, and land along the proposed Kalahasti-Nadikudi railway line — for the new capital.
Earlier in the day, state Finance Minister Y Ramakrishnudu said in spite of the Sivaramkrishnan Committee’s report, it was up to the government to decide on the location of the state capital. “We will consider the committee’s suggestions but the final decision would be taken by the Cabinet,’’ he said.