The expert committee set up to make recommendations on a capital for Andhra Pradesh has mirrored what Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had hinted at in the state assembly earlier this week.
The committee headed by retired IAS officer G Nageswara Rao submitted its report to the Chief Minister this evening and subsequently elaborated on the highlights.
"We have taken care of decentralised development keeping regional imbalances in mind and also that the development should not be in conflict with the environment,'' Mr Rao said.
One major criticism against former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's proposal for a grand futuristic capital at Amaravati-Mangalagiri was that it was taking over fertile lands and would lead to flooding of the adjoining areas.
The state has been divided into four regions: the north coastal region, central coastal region, southern coastal region and Rayalaseema region.
As Jagan Mohan Reddy said, Amaravati would be the legislative capital with the assembly functioning out of there in winter while in the summer, the assembly session would be held in Visakhapatnam. The proposal seems more a move to address regional aspirations rather than because of climate issues in either place.
On May 30, Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed office and ordered the stoppage of all infrastructure development works, including those undertaken in Amaravati, triggering speculation that his government might relocate the state capital city.
The recommendation is to have the Secretariat at Vizag. The High Court would be in Kurnool with one bench in Mangalgiri-Guntur region and another in Vizag.
The Governor's home would be in Vijayawada whereas the Chief Minister's camp office would be at Vizag.
The committee said they had toured over 10,600 km in the last two months and met thousands of people and taken feedback online on their aspirations for the capital.
Some farmers from Tulluru who had given land to the Chandrababu Naidu government had complained that they were not consulted on the new capital whereas IAS officer GN Rao said he had met with some 2000 farmers from the region.