Amaravati: Amid protests by opposition leaders and farmers, the Andhra Pradesh assembly late on Monday passed a bill aimed at setting up three capitals in the state.
Speaking about the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill, 2020, Chief Minister Jagan Reddy said: “In the history of AP, today is a very important day. Since the formation of the new state in 2014, many things happened, including historical mistakes by the TDP government. Since Independence, we lost capital almost six times and we are the only state in the country to undergo these circumstances. Even as per the Bifurcation Act, despite having Hyderabad as the common capital city for 10 years, we lost it due to the mistakes of Chandrababu Naidu.”
Reddy said the 1937 Sribagh Pact also clearly discussed where to place the capital, high court and accordingly Kurnool was declared the capital city in 1953 and retained the title till 1956. “Similarly, in 2014, the Justice Srikrishna Committee studied various aspects of the Human Development Index and recommended that the decentralisation of development is needed. The committee further stated that development in one place is leading to inequalities and emergence of backward regions,” he said.
The chief minister also accused his predecessor Naidu of lying about the Sivaramakrishnan committee report. “The committee clearly opposed the construction of super capital in Amaravati region and suggested decentralisation of all departments to extend governance to all 13 districts. The committee also stated that the capital need not be in the middle of the state.”
He added, “Srikrishna and Sivaramakrishnan committee reports clearly recommended decentralisation. Today, we are not in a position to invest Rs 1 lakh crore on the construction of a capital alone. In order to supply drinking water to the Rayalaseema region and to fulfill agricultural needs, we have to complete the construction of irrigation projects, which require almost Rs 30,000 crore. For providing better healthcare facilities and education through government institutions, we need Rs 26,000 crore. Apart from these, every district requires basic facilities and to establish them, at least Rs 500 crore for each municipality is required.”