Mild tension prevailed in Mandadam village in Amaravati on Saturday after police allegedly manhandled women protestors, who were agitating against the shifting of the capital from Amaravati. On Friday, police allegedly behaved rudely with the women protestors. In retaliation, the villagers had called for a bandh. The locals blocked the main roads and prevented police entry into their village. According to reports, locals pleaded police personnel to leave their village and also refused to give them water.
The bandh is being observed in the capital region of Amaravati, comprising 29 villages. Protests have erupted in these villages ever since Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy hinted of three capitals in Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool--for holistic development--earlier in December.
The villagers, who had pledged their land for the capital's development, have formed a Joint Action Committee, and are carrying out a sustained campaign protesting against the government's decision.
Meanwhile, Boston Consultancy Group (BCG), a world-renowned consultancy on Friday, backed the decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to have three capitals. This is the second report which has pitched for a decentralised capital region. The initial report by the GN Rao committee proposed that Amaravati would be legislative capital; Kurnool, the judicial; and Visakhapatnam, the executive capital.
BCG stated in its report that in the absence of a starting point, greenfield cities require significant investment and have long gestation periods. The report noted that multi-billion dollar investments are required for a world-class city. Global benchmarks suggest that investments of $0.5-1 billion+ per 10,000 population are required and new cities take 30-60 years to reach that scale. "Many green field cities conceived over the last 50 years have had difficulties achieving the vision," it said, virtually debunking the idea of the then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who had picked Amaravati in 2015 as the state capital and planned to develop it as a world-class city.