Where TDP would rule Andhra Pradesh from

Sreenivas Janyala explores VGTM, the 7,000-sq-km region within which the state government plans to set up its capital.

Written by Janyala Sreenivas | Published:September 4, 2014 1:30 am
Mangalgiri town. Source; Express Mangalgiri town. Source; Express

THE TUSSLE

The TDP government is bent on having the Andhra Pradesh capital in a region known as VGTM (Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri). The cabinet has cleared a decision to set it up between Vijayawada and Guntur, with Nuzvedu as an option, although a central committee under former urban development secretary K Sivaramakrishnan has opposed that stretch. The central panel has recommended three other options — Vizag region in north Andhra, Rayalaseema ‘arc’ comprising Kurnool, Anantapur, Tirupathi, Kadapa and Chittoor, and land along the proposed Kalahasti-Nadikudi railway line.
7,068 sq km
Size of VGTM, which is almost as large as Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority’s jurisdiction of 7,257 sq km. VGTM Urban Development Authority includes the corporations of Vijayawada and Guntur, the municipalities of Mangalagiri, Tenali, Gudivada, Nuzvedu, Ponnur, Sattenapalli and Tadepalli in Krishna and Guntur districts, the nagar panchayats of Nandigama and Vayyuru, and 800 gram panchayats.

KEY SITES
Vijayawada
In the heart of Coastal andhra,
it is the most developed city after Vizag, an educational hub — it includes Dr NTR University of Health Sciences, and School of Planning and Architecture, and will get a National Institute of Design campus — as well a vital transportation link for all of Seemandhra with its BRTS and railway station, the most important junction in South Central Railway’s network. But it lacks the space for setting up a new capital township, and has little scope for expansion due to the river Krishna flowing through the city, and low hills surrounding it. Besides, agricultural land prices are high.

Mangalgiri
17 km from Vijayawada, 24 km from Guntur city. Located on NH-5 (Chennai-Jharpokaria, Orissa), which is part of the Golden Quadrilateral along the east coast connecting Chennai and Kolkata, Mangalgiri has developed as a satellite town of Vijayawada. It is known for pure cotton Mangalagiri sarees and fabrics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, NRI Academy of Medical Sciences, and Koneru Lakshmaiah University; an international cricket stadium is under construction. The government is eyeing 1,198 acres of degraded forest land as well as 300 acres government land near Acharya Nagarjuna University.

Nuzvedu
45 km from Vijayawada. Nuzvedu, also known as Nuzvid, in Krishna district, is a small town and municipality with an estimated population of 70,000. It is an educational hub for the neighbourhood with six colleges and a government ITI. The Nuzvedu rasalu is a well-known variety of mango. The district collector identified more than 10,000 acres degraded and dry forest and government land during a search for land to set up an AIIMS and and IIT campuses, both of which had been assured to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014, and to set up central universities.

Guntur
40 km from Vijayawada. The city is the state’s third most populous (around 7 lakh) and well managed by its municipal corporation. The district is the most industrialised in the region with textile mills, ginning mills, tobacco processing factories. Government land, including degraded forest land, to the extent of 12,000 acres has been identified and could, if necessary, be made available for administrative buildings.

Tenali
30 km from Guntur city, 37 km from Vijayawada. After these two cities, the next largest urban cluster in VGTM, with a population close to 2 lakh. It is in the region known as the rice bowl of Andhra; three major irrigation canals of the Krishna flow through it.

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  1. I
    Imran
    Sep 4, 2014 at 4:43 am
    Why is Vizag been ignored so drastically, every one know it is the only city in Andhra which is capable enough to compete with Hyderabad. Has lot of potential for employment, Why build a new capital with so much of investment, ultimately its us who will be burdened with TAX.
    Reply
  2. K
    Kareem
    Sep 4, 2014 at 8:45 am
    Let Vizag be what it is and continue to grow as one of the best cities of south India... Please avoid that to be capital. IT Hub and other developments are interesting !! dont get the politic fuss and problems to the beautiful city
    Reply
  3. S
    Sarma
    Sep 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm
    As usual TDP clout belonging to Vijaywada community has made this decision to benefit them . where is world calls capital promised b Chandrababu Naidu. is it not fair to locate this in a undeveloped area so that the benefits will come to the people in that area. . Naidu has lost his balance and open mindedness. Now Rayala Seema will be more backward . Shame , he said he will ensure all round development. Now Vijaywada will become like Bombay . Mr Naidu should change his decision immediately. where is his so called vision ??
    Reply
  4. S
    Swapna R.
    Sep 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm
    As a “ Firangi raised” Indian who hails proudly from the beautiful city of Visakhapatnam, I totally agree with you! It would bring along an utterly unwanted element of society which would completely alter the demographic of Visakhapatnam. It has such a unique charm, somewhere between the type of atmosphere that reigns in larger towns and small cities. People are less ‘Jaded’, than they are in Hyderabad, and I would absolutely HATE to see my beautiful home place in India lose it's unique and exceptional qualities! So, Please, for God's sake!!!... Let the capital remain where they've decided it is! Especially given that this is a choice which has been thrust upon a state, in which the majority potion had its voice forcibly muted regarding the decision to rend it apart!!!Besides the proposed area for the capital makes the most sense as it is in the centre of the new smaller Andhra, obviously since it needs to govern the state from a place in which it has equal access to all parts of its governing authority.
    Reply
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