What Will Be the New Capital For Seemandhra?

The UPA government has made an announcement of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh on 30th July 2013. It has been said that Hyderabad will be the joint capital of both states (Telangana and Seemandhra) for 10 years. Seemandhra need to develop its own capital city during these 10 years. Since this announcement, many speculations and calculations about the new capital of seemandhra are in action.

There are many cities like Ongole, Vishakapatnam, Vijayawada-Guntur, Rajahmundry, Tirupati and Kurnool contesting to win the race of being a capital city. Let’s evaluate the pros and cons of each city.

Ongole seems to have more chances

  • Pros
    • Ongole with huge land bank of 50,000 to 80,000 acres of government land has more than enough land to construct a capital city.
    • Government has already acquired 30,000 acres of land in Ongole making it a favourite to be developed as a capital city.
    • Geographical location of Ongole, being in the centre of the new state would also be a factor to be considered.
  • Cons
    • The major drawback of Ongole that could be cited as a problem for being a capital city is severe drinking water problem.
      Also, there is no air connectivity to the city, which is important for a capital city.

Vishakapatnam, being located at one corner of the state is the only concern

  • Pros
    • Vishakapatnam, a second largest city of Andhra Pradesh has all elements that a capital city must have. Availability of land, developed infrastructure and cosmopolitan culture.
    • No other city in coastal Andhra has as many public sector units as Vishakapatnam.
    • It is also a major industrial, cultural and intellectual hub.
    • City has very good air, rail, road and sea connectivity. It already has an international airport, which can be developed into a full-fledged one.
    • Vishakapatnam has thousands of acres of land belonging to the state and central government.
  • Cons
    • The only major concern about Vishakapatnam is its location at the corner and making administration and accessing difficult to reach out to distant Rayalaseema regions.

Vijayawada – Guntur, already being a commercial capital would be a benefit

  • Pros
    • Vijayawada already being a commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh also stands strong in the race.
    • Locals say that the sprawling Acharya Nagarjuna University campus is best suitable to house the Legislature, Secretariat, Raj Bhavan and Government offices.
    • Already existing High Court bench would be a benefit.
    • Vijayawada has good road, rail, air and sea connectivity. It has the second biggest railway junction in the India and Asia’s biggest bus terminal and 250 year old Machilipatnam port. Gannavaram airport could be developed as an international airport.
  • Cons
    • Non availability of government lands and skyrocketing of real estate prices in the city are major drawbacks.
      Government will need to acquire lands from farmers and private parties to acquisite land and this might hit government hard in terms of cost.

Apart from these three major cities, there are also

  • Rajahmundry has 7,500 acres of reserve forest that can be utilized for building new capital and abundant water facility are projected as advantages of the city. However, non-availability of government land is the major issue.
  • Tirupati, with high land prices and located at extreme corner of the state does not make it a viable choice.
  • Kurnool, was once the capital city of Andhra State (present Andhra and Rayalaseema Region).

It is not an easy for a city to become a capital city. By considering many factors like availability of government lands, ability to reach out and administer whole state, connectivity from different parts of the state, Ongole have fairly good chances of becoming a capital city.

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