Andhra constitutes high-power committee on capital issue

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has constituted a high-power committee to examine the recommendations of the expert committee, which suggested three capital formula for the decentralised development of the state.

Two days after the state cabinet decided to form the high-power committee, the government on Sunday issued orders constituting a 16-member panel, comprising ministers and top officials.

Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, who will be the convenor of the high-power committee, issued the orders to this effect.

The panel will submit its report in three weeks. The members include 11 ministers and five officials, including Director General of Police and Principal Advisor to Chief Minister.

According to the Government Order (GO), high-power committee may seek the advice of the Advocate General.

It will also take into account the recommendations of the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) while finalising the strategy and the way forward.

After six-member expert committee submitted its report on December 20, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government roped in the BCG to study the option available for the development of the capital city.

the BCG is likely to submit its report in the first week of January.

The state cabinet on Friday deferred a final decision on state capital and decided to constitute a high-power committee to study the reports of both the expert committee and the BCG.

It was in September that Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government had constituted a six-member expert committee on the concept of decentralised development and work out a strategy on the way forward, keeping in view various provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

The panel, comprising urban planning experts, suggested that three capital cities be developed by shifting some capital function from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool. It mooted Visakhapatnam as administrative capital and Kurnool as the judicial capital while Amaravti can house State Assembly and Raj Bhavan.

The report triggered unrest among farmers in 29 villages of Amaravati, who had given 33,000 acres of land in 2015 for development of the state capital. The farmers are staging daily protests, demanding the government to drop three-capital proposal and develop the capital in Amaravati as planned by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.

The farmers have also approached the High Court, challenging the government’s proposed move.