AP’s capital shifting to Vizag will happen after elections in 2024
However, Chief Secretary KS Jawhar Reddy is confident that in two years the infrastructure would be ready in Vizag.
The shifting of the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam would take place only after elections in 2024 although Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy may shift his base ‘symbolically’ for a few days to drive home the message about his commitment to the three-capital plan.
During the two-day Global Investors’ Summit, the YSRCP government showcased Visakhapatnam as its future capital as industry captains and business tycoons descended in the port city boasting of a cosmopolitan culture. The Chief Minister also reiterated that he would soon shift to Vizag.
However, as a top official pointed out that with only a year remaining before AP goes to elections, both Assembly and Parliament, it would be difficult to move “lock, stock and barrel.” Hence only the Chief Minister may shift his base, stay for a couple of days in Vizag as a “symbolic move.”
Andhra Pradesh’s capital woes have continued for ten years after the bifurcation of the unified state. Although Hyderabad was declared as the joint capital for ten years, the then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu chose to shift to Vijayawada after he got embroiled in the cash for vote case.
However, his grand plans for a greenfield capital in Amaravati on 33,000 acres came crashing down with his humiliating defeat in the 2019 elections. After assuming office YS Jagan Mohan Reddy declared his three capital plan with separate administrative, legislative and judicial capital at Visakhapatnam, Mangalagiri and Kurnool.
However, he suffered a setback in the High Court but the Supreme Court has given a stay on the lower court’s order about developing Amaravati in six months. The matter is still pending in the apex court.
However, Chief Secretary KS Jawhar Reddy is confident that in two years the infrastructure would be ready in Vizag. “You just have to build the Secretariat, Raj Bhavan and officers’ quarters. In the best case, it will take some two years, Rs 3,000-4,000 crore and about 200 acres,” he added.
Although the administrative capital will be in North Andhra people of the southern districts because of the current government’s model of decentralised administration through village secretariats and good connectivity will not be inconvenienced, he added.
Another official said the new development will be mostly concentrated at Kapuluppada on the northern side of Vizag city.
The government plans to build an IT Park on 100 acre in Vizag and set up a Centre of Excellence of emerging technologies in collaboration with Harvard University. The proposed greenfield airport at Bhogapuram about 40-km from Vizag will take off soon and the state government is planning to build a road connecting the airport with Bhavanapadu port in Srikakulam.