AP govt hints at changing capital from Amaravati

Municipal administration and urban development Minister Botcha Satyanarayana finally gave a hint on the fate of the state capital Amaravati which is being built in 33,000 acres of prime agriculture land pooled by farmers of the Guntur district close to river Krishna. While Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy made it clear that Amaravati is not on his priority list, the project got a paltry allocation of Rs 500 cr in the current budget.

Speaking to media in Visakhapatnam, the minister said that very soon the government will declare its policy over the state capital. “However construction of a capital city in the Amaravati area next to the river has its problems.

The recent floods have shown that the area chosen by former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is not right for the construction as it is prone to floods,” Botcha said, citing the recent floods to Krishna river close to Prakasam barrage that links Krishna district with Guntur. Amaravati needs extra drains and a separate water channels to deal with floods, he added.

“Building capital in such an area is going to be a burden on the exchequer,” he said hinting that the government which has “Donakonda” area of Prakasam district in mind for the construction of a capital city might opt out of the “Amaravati” plan.

As a precursor to what the minister has said, state irrigation minister Anil Kumar Yadav has already blamed Naidu for staying at the riverfront residence which is one among many such constructions that sprung up on the riverfront.

The Jaganmohan Reddy government not only demolished the “Praja Vedika” convention center built by Naidu government on the riverbank, but tried to take aerial pictures of Naidu’s residence with the help of drones. TDP has alleged that the real plan behind delaying the lifting of Prakasam barrage gates is to sink Naidu’s home just to tell the world that the capital is sinkable and a sheer waste of public money.

Former Machilipatnam Urban Development Authority Chairman and TDP leader Buragadda Veda Vyas on Tuesday said that Botcha’s statement is a clear indication that the government hates to operate from the Coastal AP region of Krishna and Guntur. “TDP has been saying this from the beginning that the government will show the flood as a reason to shut down Amaravati,” Vyas said.

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