An elderly Muslim man sells butter milk to quench the summer thirst of the handful of people milling around a central street in Kurnool town. There are drunks staggering around under the evening sun. Groups of auto-rickshaws are vying for the attention of the motley crowd of people on the roads. There are a dozen cricket matches on at the STB College grounds.
It is a typical lazy Sunday evening in Kurnool town, with nothing to signify the change that will occur on Monday morning.
Kurnool, in the heart of Andhra Pradesh, will on Monday become a border town with the birth of India’s 29th state of Telangana. Located 211 kilometres from Hyderabad, Kurnool is one of the towns where checkposts will be erected in the coming days to demarcate the border between Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district and Telangana’s Mahbubnagar.
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On the eve of the birth of Telangana, however, there is little evidence of the change in the air. Life flows unobstructed between Kurnool and Mahbubnagar, with no barriers of taxes and duties in place as yet.
“Most people are yet to feel the impact of the creation of a new state. This will come only when the checkposts are erected and there is regulation on the free flow of goods and vehicles,’’ said Kurnool District Collector and District Magistrate C Sudarshan Reddy. He said two checkposts would come up in the district on the Andhra Pradesh side — one on NH 7 in Kurnool town itself and a second near Srisailam in Kurnool district.
“A government order has been issued and the new border checkposts will be put up once land has been acquired. The taxation norms will be the same as what exists between Andhra Pradesh and other states,’’ said Reddy, adding that temporary checkposts would be erected on June 3 itself.
According to Kurnool district’s Superintendent of Police Raghuram Reddy, the demarcation of the border between Telangana and the residual Andhra Pradesh will be in place only around two weeks later.
“There has been no notification issued as yet for the creation of integrated checkposts on the border between Kurnool and Mahbubnagar. Since these checkposts will be related to tax collections, specific government orders have to be issued by the governments of the two states,’’ said the Kurnool SP.
“Till the integrated checkposts are notified, there will be free flow of goods and vehicles. We are expecting a notification to be issued once the process of new government formation is over, probably by the second week of June,’’ he said.
“People have been mentally prepared for this for a long time… They have got used to the idea. Many people from Kurnool have close family and business ties with people in Mahbubnagar. The creation of a new border is not going to change that. There are no misgivings or animosity and it is a peaceful transition,’’ said the Kurnool SP.
“The creation of the new border is something we are resigned to. The people of Rayalaseema are not very concerned. We have always relied on our hard work to get ahead,’’ said an employee at the Kurnool District Collector’s office.