The great zebra run
Fifth Column: Reality hurts hard

Andhra Pradesh bifurcation: 1/2

Tomorrow, two states will stand where Andhra Pradesh once did.

Existing Secretariat will serve as secretariat for both states for now. Source: Harsha Vadlamani Existing Secretariat will serve as secretariat for both states for now. Source: Harsha Vadlamani

Tomorrow, two states will stand where Andhra Pradesh once did. Typical of how this statehood issue has played out, there is uncertainty even about what the non-Telangana part will be called. Amidst unseemly disputes over assets, officials and areas, the birth pangs will continue, reports Sreenivas Janyala

Telangana was first raised as a major demand in the late 1960s and its fortunes have oscillated with political calculations of the powers-that-be. It was promised four and a half years ago by the Centre, only to be put on hold following protests. The new state was finally cleared in February this year amidst unprecedented ruckus in Parliament, involving an MP using pepper spray and blacking out of the House telecast. Finally, beginning Monday, Andhra Pradesh as we know it will cease to exist. What won’t change is the two sibilings going down to the wire squabbling.

With the UPA government concerned more about the political dividends of the division than the logistics in its last days in power at the Centre, and with everybody wanting a share of Hyderabad, the two new states are staring at many areas where their paths will cross, often literally.

Flower pots as boundary

On June 2 at 8.15 am at Raj Bhavan, K Chandrasekhara Rao, the chief of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, will take oath as the first chief minister of Telangana. With 6 his “lucky number”, Rao will enter his office at 12.57 pm. One of his first tasks will be clearing ex-gratia for families of those who died for the cause of Telangana.

Six days later, N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will take oath as the chief minister of Andhra. It’s not known yet what the new state will be called, or where Naidu will be sworn in, Vijayawada or Guntur.

The existing Andhra Assembly building at Nampally will become the Telangana Assembly. The Jubilee Hall in the Assembly complex will temporarily serve as the Andhra Assembly.

Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat will be housed temporarily within the existing Secretariat complex in Hyderabad that is now to serve as the seat of the Telangana government.

The existing Secretariat was originally a set of buildings known as the Saifabad Palace, built between 1885 and ’88 by the Nizams. All the old buildings were brought down and, in 1983, new blocks built by then chief minister N T Rama Rao. Based on vaastu, the C block came to house the CM’s office. Come June 2, Chandrasekhara Rao will use this block.

The building will have two entrances, one each for the two Secretariats sharing the space. While the entrance from the Mint Compound side will be used by Rao, the Telugu Talli Flyover entrance will be for Naidu. The entrance that has been used all these years — facing Hussain Sagar Lake — may be used by visitors or Telangana employees.

Flower pots will temporarily separate the Telangana Secretariat and the Andhra Secretariat.

Incidentally, separate entrances is a practice the Secretariat has got used to the past few months. At the height of the Telangana agitation, employees from Seemandhra and Telangana had clashed at the main gate, forcing Chief Secretary P K Mohanty to demarcate separate entrances for them. The same entrances will now serve the new CMs.

Naidu, however, is likely to mostly work out of his residence when in Hyderabad and use the two newly constructed blocks on Acharya Nagarjuna University campus in Guntur, 275 km from Hyderabad, as the CMO. The Lake View guesthouse beside Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad has been spruced up for him to hold meetings and see visitors.

The new capital city of Andhra is expected to come up somewhere near Vijayawada and Guntur, and Acharya Nagarjuna University is located just 25 km from each city.

The Andhra Pradesh Special Police 6th Battalion’s headquarters near Mangalagiri, Guntur, has been earmarked to house the offices of the Andhra DGP, chief secretary, and principal secretaries. The battalion will vacate the headquarters along with some 2,000-odd families.

A mix of the iconic arch of the Kakatiya dynasty and Charminar will form the official logo of Telangana state.

‘War room’ to keep peace

THE Andhra Pradesh Secretariat has long been a divided house, with officials of Telangana and the state’s Seemandhra regions wearing their loyalties on their sleeves. As a consequence, the distribution and allotment of state cadre is proving tough. Telangana employees’ associations have alleged malpractice and use of unfair means by Seemandhra employees to retain their postings in Hyderabad. A ‘war room’ at Telangana Bhavan in Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad has been scrutinising domicile and nativity certificates submitted by employees to ensure that no non-local lands a posting in Telangana.

After collecting details and the number of employees in each department, the process of provisional allotment started on May 17. Of the 4,417 posts in the existing Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, 1,173 employees were found to have proper domicile and nativity records and were distributed accordingly. Provisional allotment of 1,865 has been done so far, with Telangana getting 805 employees, while 1,379 posts are still vacant.

“This is just a provisional allotment based on available nativity certificates, and if anyone has any objections, they can raise them. This has been done as the zero week started from May 26 and the two secretariats and governments are going through a trial run till June 2. There appears to be a shortfall of officers to the posts of section officers, joint secretaries and assistant secretaries in Telangana Secretariat and this will be temporarily filled up by employees from Seemandhra,” says Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Employees’ Secretary V Padma Chary. Similarly, some Telangana employees have been allotted to Andhra to cover for vacancies there.

Admitting protests by Telangana employees’ associations, who are demanding that after June 2, no non-local should work in either region, P K Mohanty says, “I have informed the employees that it is only a temporary arrangement. We have requested all employees’ associations to set aside their grievances and let both the new governments to take charge. A final division of employees will be done after the governments are formed.”

The permanent allotment of officials will be done by the Kamalanathan Committee, which may take a few months.

Earlier, Chief Secretary P K Mohanty and Finance Secretary P V Ramesh submitted a list of state-level posts for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the ratio of 41.68:58.32 based on their populations to the Department of Personnel and Training. The DoPT has sent the list to the Prime Minister’s Office for clearance.

Besides IAS and IPS, there are 46,320 sanctioned posts of state government employees working in various departments of Hyderabad. Of these, 13,380 are vacant. Under the category of state cadre (those who have cleared State Public Service Commission exams) in the field, there are 39,486 posts while 10,532 are vacant.

Separate salary accounts and treasuries started operating from May 26.

Top posts

THE Department of Personnel and Training is shifting four IAS officers to assist the CMs of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Chandrasekhara Rao is insisting on V N Reddy, a 1984-batch officer who hails from Medak, Telangana, for chief secretary. But the DoPT has told Rao that, according to rules, only an officer of the rank of special chief secretary could be appointed chief secretary and suggested the name of Rajiv Sharma, currently on deputation in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma is tipped to be Telangana’s first DGP.

Andhra CM-elect Naidu has decided to have I Y R Krishna Rao as chief secretary and J V Ramudu as DGP. Krishna Rao is currently chief commissioner of Land Administration. The DoPT has also shifted Armane Giridhar, a 1988-batch officer with the Petroleum Ministry, and Guttapalli Sai Prasad, of the 1991-batch, as principal secretaries to Naidu. Giridhar is a former Andhra Pradesh finance secretary.

The Pratyush Sinha Committee appointed by the Centre has recommended 163 posts of IAS, 112 of IPS and 65 Indian Forest Service officers for Telangana. For the new Andhra state, the Committee has recommended 211 posts of IAS, 144 IPS, and 82 IFS officers. While all the officers from Telangana chose to work in their new state, some IAS and IPS officers hailing from other states preferred Telangana as they do not want to leave Hyderabad.

The cadre allotment of All India Service officers is yet to be cleared, leaving a number of issues in limbo. The cadre allotment file is pending with the PMO.

2 chiefs, 1 capital

Chandrasekhara Rao will not be using the official CM bungalow at Begumpet in Hyderabad as he feels it is unlucky and inauspicious. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who got the sprawling bungalow died in a helicopter crash in September 2009. His successor K Rosaiah resigned within 10 months. N Kiran Kumar Reddy faced chaotic times till he resigned as CM.

While Rao has sought the advice of vaastu experts to suggest modifications, three adjacent bungalows in the IAS-IPS Officers’ Colony in Kundanbagh have been allotted as his official residence. Rao cannot use his family home in Jubilee Hills as the lane is too narrow, and the security apparatus that will need to come up will inconvenience other residents.

Of the two Toyota Prados in the CM’s official convoy, one has been allotted to Naidu while the other has been given to Rao. The latter has got 6666 as the registration number. Four brand new Toyota Fortuners have also been allotted to his convoy of six vehicles, which includes one carrying a jammer.

Apart from the other Prado, Naidu will use his bullet-proof Tata Safari and four other vehicles.

There were celebrations in Vijayawada and Guntur after newly sworn in Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who hails from Nellore, said that the two cities would be developed as twin cities, like Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Land prices are already shooting up in the expectation of a new capital coming up in the region. A metro rail and high-speed corridor will connect the two cities.

Capital issues

Unlike other state bifurcations, the division of Andhra Pradesh has become a tense affair due to the extensive business interests that Seemandhra people have in Hyderabad. Lakhs of people have also migrated to Hyderabad and made it their permanent home. They are all opposed to bifurcation. Government employees who have lived in Hyderabad for the better part of their lives do not want to return to their native areas, while Telangana employees want them to go back.

During the elections, both the TDP and YSR Congress Party had talked of  Rs 40-50,000 crore being needed to establish the new capital.

“We had said that at least Rs 1 lakh crore would be required,” TDP vice-president K Ramamohan Rao says. Besides, Naidu is planning to develop Tirupati and Vizag as IT hubs.

If any work remains pending after June 2, it will continue under the agreed Act. Division of corporations and public sector undertakings, for example, may take much longer.

Looking back at 2000

* Nativity was the criteria for allocation of All India Services officers when Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were carved out. Eventually, allocation of employees took almost four years.

* Differences cropped up between Jharkhand and Bihar on distribution of assets, and even 14 years later, the dispute hasn’t been settled.

* Prior to creation of Uttarakhand, the UP Assembly passed a resolution initiating several amendments, including one barring Haridwar from becoming a part of the new state. In 2009, the Supreme Court endorsed inclusion of Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

* In case of Chhattisgarh, the tussle was over Amarkantak, the origin of Narmada and Son rivers. The two states also argued over coal mines and forest produce.

The Act

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014

Referred to as the Telangana Bill, it decrees dividing Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and ‘Seemandhra (Coastal and Rayalaseema districts)’, and was passed by Parliament in February. As per the Act, Hyderabad will be the joint capital of the two states for 10 years, and Telangana will come into being as the 29th state on June 2, with the remaining nine Coastal and four Rayalaseema districts making up Andhra. It is still unclear whether this part would be called Andhra Pradesh, Seemandhra or by some other name.

The action

Feb 18, 2014
Telangana Bill passed in the Lok Sabha
Feb 19
N Kiran Kumar Reddy resigns  as Andhra Pradesh CM
Feb 20
Bill clears Rajya Sabha
March 29
The Pratyush Sinha Committee set up by the Centre for IAS, IPS, IFS officer distribution
April 30
Division of Secretariat done. A, B, C, D blocks are to house the Telangana Secretariat; H, K, L blocks will be Andhra’s
May 17
Provisional allotment of employees starts. The final allotment will be done by the Kamalanathan Committee, which may take a few months
May 26
Separate salary accounts and treasuries start operating
May 28
Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary submit a list of state-level posts for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to the DoPT, which sends it to PMO for clearance
May 30
Andhra Rajya Sabha MPs
apportioned by draw of lots

June 2
K Chandrasekhara Rao to take oath as Telangana CM

June 2
Checkposts to come up at 16 locations on roads connecting Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

June 3
Official maps showing the new states to be released

June 8
N Chandrababu Naidu to take oath at Vijayawada or Guntur

By June 30

The AP Special Police 6th Battalion to move out of headquarters in Guntur, to make way for the new Andhra DGP, chief secretary, and principal secretaries’ offices

Undecided

Where or when capital for Andhra will be built — it is likely to be near Vijayawada and Guntur — or the new Assembly building for Andhra

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