N Chandrababu Naidu
N Chadrababu Naidu taking oath as Chief Minister of AP on 8 June (file photo)AP government

The Union government-appointed Sivaramakrishnan Committee, for building a new capital city for Andhra Pradesh, has favoured decentralisation of government organisations and administration, instead of building a "single super city" at a location in regions like Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali, Mangalagiri (VGTM).

As the AP government has hinted at the VGTM region as the location for building the new capital city for the state, land prices in the area have gone up from lakhs to crores of rupees per acre.

Committee Chairman KC Sivaramakrishnan met state Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad on Saturday and shared the committee's findings so far.

Later, Sivaramakrishnan told the media that Naidu is firm on integral development of the state. The Chief Minister is also said to have agreed with the Committee's suggestions on several factors.

The Committee Chairman made it clear that their task is not just suggesting a location for the state's capital but looking at all angles of economic, infrastructural and industrial development of the state.

Sivaramakrishnan said that the committee has been concentrating on overall development aspects of the state. If it is just for locating the site for the capital city, a PWD committee would have been doing the task, he added.

The Committee would submit its report to the Union government by the middle of August.

Naidu wanted the capital at a centrally located place in the state. Sivaramakrishnan committee also suggested that the new capital should be at a place nearer to the already developed cities but not within the region, comprising cities like Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Mangalagiri, which is the "rice bowl" of AP and the main foodgrain producing belt in the country.

The Committee is of the view that if the capital city is built on VGTM, valuable cultivation lands will go into urbanisation, which will follow in and around the new capital city.

The Committee has suggested India's capital cities such as Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar as models to AP's capital city. Malaysian concept of decentralised administrative mechanism has also been cited by the committee.

Overall development of the state is possible through decentralisation of government offices at 12 to 15 regions of the state, instead of constructing a big capital city, where all government offices would be located, the committee told Naidu.

Presently, 192 AP government offices are located in Hyderabad. Finding vast stretches of land to locate these offices and organisations at one place is difficult, Sivaramakrisnan committee opined. Keeping this in view, the panel has advised AP government to scatter the offices across the state for decentralised development.