Some Proposals for the New StateWhat does the future hold for Seemaandhra? Bifurcation of the state is a now a certainty – a certainty that is being refuted by Seemaandhra protagonists just to keep their opposition to bifurcation afloat and alive. It is time all the right thinking of the region thought about the future. Definitely Seemaandhra will be confronted with a host of problems.
The most important is building a new capital. Since it is going to be built anew it should be a centrally located one. A spot anywhere between Vijayawada to Ongole will be most suitable. This may raise Rayalaseema peoples’ hackles. They have every reason to be peeved at the location of the new capital as it was they who had to forgo Kurnool in favour of Hyderabad as capital. Of course Hyderabad even in 1956 was a world class city.
People of Rayalaseema have to be convinced on this count. Ongole is also nearer to the region. A capital need not have millions of people living in it. It is supposed to be the administrative head quarter. Therefore the new capital can be constructed on the lines of Gandhinagar. Two High court benches at Visakhapatnam and Kadapa or Chittoor should be set up.
The issue of water can be sorted out by the Central Water Commission. Yet the state government will have to design an elaborate project harness Godavari waters. But the policy makers will have to give a serious thought to enhance the non conventional energy sources. Despite the huge initial investment the government has to go for tapping Solar energy on a massive scale. Wind energy should get priority.
There is enough potential for two more steel plants to be established in Rayalaseema and Vijayawada could be the new IT hub. The new state deserves an IIT (at Tirupathi) and an IIM (at Rajahmundry). In view of the fears of Uttarandhra and Rayalaseema people three Regional Development Boards/Councils one each for Uttarandhra, Central Andhra (from East Godvari to Nellore) and Rayalaseema have to be constituted. The establishment of a Science city at Visakhapatnam has to be seriously considered. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India will have to be prevailed upon to start a branch of FTII at either Visakhapatnam or Madanapalle.
Several ministries of the Union government like Textiles, Defense, Railways, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Information Technology, Civil Aviation, Commerce and Industry can moot plans to start related industries at Vizianagaram, Machilipatnam, Guntur, Anatapur and Adoni. Seemaandhra has the distinct advantage of having one major and 14 non major ports. In addition a comprehensive plan to develop inland water transport network becomes imperative. A Tribal Research Institute at Vizianagaram would cater to the needs of the huge tribal population of not only North Coastal Andhra Pradesh but also tribes of Chattisgarh, Orissa and Telangana. An institute on the lines of AIIMS should come up at Ongole with branches at Srikakulam, Rajampet and Tadepalligudem.
The foremost thing to do in the new state is the formation of a new railway zone at Visakhapatnam followed by laying new tracks connection Uttarandhra and important towns in Rayalaseema. The Ministry of railways may explore the possibility of laying an over bridge track from Vizianagaram to Gudur with help of Japanese. We need not go for a bullet train, but at least it must be the fastest in India with 200 km per hour.
The above proposals are tentative and that too from a non specialist. Time is running out. A new and vibrant Andhra Pradesh has to emerge and for that the entire population has to strive for it. I am sure the new Andhra Pradesh will notch the top spot in no time.
However let me add (in lighter vein) the contracts for the above proposals should be generously doled out to Seemaandhra state Ministers, MPs and central Ministers.
If possible they can sub lease a few to KCR’s family members also because without him state would not have been divided and the need for a new capital would not have arisen and new projects could not have been mooted. Let us also not neglect other Telangana politician-contractors for whom business precedes their region’s interests.
Sarve contractors Sukhino Bhavanthu
By Nelambroy (Chicago - USA)