Justice Srikrishna Committee and Sivaramakrsihnan committee are very familiar among the masses of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. So much of time and money were vested in the setting up of committees. But, the pain and vein that went into the research findings could not achieve anything except for gathering dust over in the offices concerned.
If we go into the details…Srikrishna Committee on Telangana or the Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP) was a committee headed by former chief justice B. N. Srikrishna to look into the demand for separate statehood for Telangana or keep the State united. The committee was constituted by the then UPA-II Government on February 3, 2010 and submitted its report on December 30, 2010 to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The following six options were presented in the report:
- Maintaining Status Quo – Keeping the Andhra Pradesh State as it is with no change in the Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra regions.
- Bifurcating the state of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telengana regions with both of them developing their own capitals in due course of time. Hyderabad to be converted into a Union Territory – This proposal was similar to the Punjab-Haryana-Chandigarh model.
- Dividing Andhra Pradesh into two states – One of Rayala-Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital and second one of the Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
- Dividing Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory that will be linked geographically to district Guntur in coastal Andhra via Nalgonda district in the southeast and via Mahboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema.
- Bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhrâ as per existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital.
- Keeping the State united and providing for the creation of a statutorily empowered the Telangana Regional Council for socio-economic development and political development of Telangana region.
In a similar way the Sivaramakrishnan committee specially appointed for the selection of the new capital for residuary Andhra Pradesh has submitted a 187 page memorandum to the Union Home Ministry. The committee has toured in as many as 11 districts in Andhra Pradesh from May 7, 2014 and accepted 4,728 suggestions from the people.
The final report prepared by the expert committee appointed by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs under section 6 of the AP Reorganization Act, 2014, is a study of the various alternatives regarding new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh. Though the two states of Telangana and Andhra came into existence on the appointed day i.e. June 2, 2014 the Committee itself was constituted only on March 28, 2014 for a period of six months. Even this report like Srkrishna committee was submitted within the final date specified in the Terms of Reference for the Committee, i.e. 31 August 2014.
The main highlights of the committee’s report are appended below:
- It is justified to give a sop for Andhra Pradesh to help the state in economic deficit.
- SDC should be approached soon to grant special sop to Andhra Pradesh.
- The area between Vijayawada-Guntur may impose a threat to the economy of the state, apart from creating environmental degradation
- Rs 1536cr required for the provision of basic amenities in the capital region
- The ring road near VGTM may increase the land rates beyond the limit, apart from a heavy threat imposed to fertile lands
- There is no mandatory rule the High Court should be located at the same place where there are assembly and secretariat. Committee reminded of the fact that many states have such a situation in this milieu.
- High court should be established in Visakhapatnam and a special bench for Rayalaseema should also be established
- Rajbhavan needs 15 acres land
- Assembly Bhavan needs 80-100 acres land
- Suggested for the establishment of CM, Ministers, Offices, Secreteriart near VGTM. All these need 20 acres land
- Near VGTM only 1,458 acres land is available while the capital needs 10,000 acres.
- Land acquisition will take 3-4yrs and the land acquisition on the present market rates is a costly affair. The land rates have been increased at Vijayawada & Guntur.
- Capital and development should be decentralised.
- Nuzvid, Musunur, Amaravtahi, Pulichintala can be utilised for few government offices.
- There should be a definite strategy for equal development of all districts.
- The backward areas should be developed with basic amenities and educational institutions.
- Government offices should be distributed in all 13 districts.
- The domestic and foreign investments should be development oriented.
- The quarters for the staff of various departments should be scattered in many places.
- All IT related industries should be established in Visakhapatnam.
- CMO and the Secretariat can be established at Nuzivid, Gannavaram, Musunur.
Indubitably, so much of efforts and pain were taken by the expert teams to find out the best options, the committees aimed for. But, the governments concerned have neglected in either case and have implemented the same what they felt befitting. It is worth recollecting that the UPA-II government has prolonged the issue and ultimately chose to carve Telangana as the 29th state of India after the Justice Srikrishna committee’s report has become stale. Also, the Sivaramakrishnan Committee was almost neglected and Vijayawada has been chosen as the new capital of the successor state.
In a nutshell, what these two committees have achieved is hardly anything, in actuality. But, sure the governments have succeeded to pass off the people and killed a great time of the people and experts to prolong the issue for reasonably good time.
Was killing time was the only intended purpose of these committees? Legislative bodies please think of it!!