Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday hinted that the state may have a total of three capitals to keep up with the aspirations of the people. Jagan stated that three cities — Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool — may all be considered as the capitals and each will perform a different function.
"We can think in terms of having three capitals, one being the legislative capital and the other two being the executive capital and the judicial capital. Visakhapatnam, which has the infrastructure, can be considered as the executive capital, without needing any more investment. Amaravati can be retained as the legislative capital and Kurnool can be considered as the judicial capital, for balanced development,” CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Tuesday.
An expert committee has been formed to decide the capital area region and the committee will submit its report in a couple of days. “We have to discuss developing all the regions and the concept of multiple capitals too could be considered,” CM Jagan said.
Earlier, in November, the state government had appointed a committee headed by retired IAS officer G Nageswara Rao to receive opinions and suggestions from people on the possibility of the state having three capitals. CM Jagan said the committee will submit its report shortly.
“A reputed consultancy firm will also give its report and a decision will be taken after going over the details and logistics," Jagan said.
He added, "For a true concept of decentralisation, we need to change,” while citing the example of South Africa, which has three capitals.
Jagan also reiterated his allegations that there were irregularities in former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s plan for the grand design of a capital city that was to be built after developing 53,000 acres of land at a cost of Rs 1.09 lakh crore.
Shortly after YSRCP came to power, the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) withdrew from the project to develop Amaravati as the capital. Both the financial institutions together were to pump in $500 million into the project.
Naidu opposes Jagan's plan
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu has questioned how the three capitals plan will work.
“Where will the Chief Minister reside, will he be here (in Amaravati) or in Visakhapatnam? Will two residences be constructed? Tomorrow, he will construct one in Idupulapaya (in Kadapa) to be in Kurnool. These are all very bad decisions, it looks like even Tuglaq rule may have been a little better than this,” Naidu said.
Naidu said that Jagan’s decision was taken without taking views of people into consideration and stated that this plan will be a hindrance to the development of the state and its growth.
“If it is the state’s misfortune or our misfortune, god only knows. Let the people decide. Such decisions only prove that it is a Tughlaq regime,” he added.
Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath hit back at Naidu, stating that Naidu had set aside the Siva Ramakrishnan's committee report and had gone ahead with his plan to develop Amaravati without caring about the environmental concerns. The Siva Ramakrishnan committee had been appointed by Union Ministry to give suggestions and possible plans to build the capital of Andhra Pradesh.