The Andhra Pradesh is taking the development of the state back to the drawing board, with the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department of the state government issuing a government order on Friday for the constitution of a committee to review the development plans that are currently being executed.
The expert committee has been directed to suggest a “comprehensive development strategy” for the entire state, and not just capital city Amaravati.
The members of the committee are Prof Dr Mahaveer, the Professor of Planning and Dean (Academic) at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi; Dr Anjali Mohan, an urban and regional planner; Prof. Shivananda Swamy from CEPT, Ahmedabad, Prof KT Ravindran, SPA(Retd) from the Delhi School of Architecture and Dr KV Arunachalam, retired Chief Urban Planner of Chennai.
According to the government order, this committee will appoint one expert on environmental issues and flood management.
The committee has been directed to submit its report within six weeks, i.e., October 25.
The fate of Amaravati has been hanging in the balance ever since Andhra’s current Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed charge in May. Recently, a row was also triggered after Botcha Satyanarayana, Andhra’s Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister hinted at the administration’s mood regarding Amaravati, and said that the capital was unsafe and flood-prone. This led to uncertainty over situation over Amaravati, and there was speculation that the capital may be shifted out, leading to protests. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan also issued a statement that Amaravati must remain the capital, and said that the state government could make corrections.
Setting up of the panel is significant in view of the uncertainty over the capital. All work in the city came to a halt in May after the YSRCP assumed power and decided to review decisions made by the previous TDP government. Jagan had earlier called land acquisition for Amaravati a scam, and had alleged that the former TDP government had resorted to insider trading.