The people of Andhra are being served one more
years ago, when they fought for a separate Telugu State, they were deprived of
the capital, Madras, because it was considered a common asset of all South
Indians, in spite of a majority of Telugu speakers in that city.
new state thus formed embraced its brethren, liberated from the clutches of
Nizam and adopted Hyderabad as its own. For 56 years it had never occurred to
its people that one day they would be deprived of it too. They had invested
their sweat and blood and developed Hyderabad into a land of milk and honey.
an example, let me illustrate an industry that is familiar to all and what had
happened with it. Vijaya, Vauhini, Prasad, Bharani, Suresh aren’t just names.
They belonged to the Telugu people and they made Madras the largest producer of
celluloid art. It had taken 30 long years for the industry to move to
Hyderabad. The trauma of this exodus had come to pass. Now the Tollywood is
well settled in its new home thanks only to the extraordinary benefits and
concessions offered by successive governments.
Hyderabad is not only Tollywood, but a hub of a multitude of industries –
Pharma, Medical, IT, Infra, Education to name a few – creating lakhs of jobs
and livelihoods directly and through ancillary economy.
are the investors? People of Andhra, trusting enough to think Hyderabad is
they are told that …
Hyderabad doesn’t belong to them.
They don’t belong there.
Employment Generation and Balanced Growth
to the legacy of an education system inherited from the Madras Presidency,
today, Andhra region produces one of the largest crops of human talent. The
industrial hub called Hyderabad provided them opportunity.
where will they go?
many generations must suffer before Andhra can provide careers and livelihoods?
millions of frustrated young people is a sure formula for disaster. How do we
do we create a dynamic economy that can absorb this talent, now - not after ten
years, or in some distant future?
the so called “Lakhs of Crores Package” to build a capital that the politicians
are salivating on, the real solution?
we contemplating the same historic blunder of developing just one city
sacrificing balanced growth?
Charter – The Solution
may sound like the strangled cry of a wronged wife for alimony – after the divorce
is formalized – with the future of her children at stake. I hope the powers
that be have a heart to listen.
are not demands, but the bare essentials to see that her children are fed.
me enumerate them and also explain simply – without the burden of lies, damned
lies and statistics – why those are necessary.
Industries:Ask any industrialist. The
land prices in Andhra are astronomically high making it unviable to start any
new industry. If the situation persists, there won’t be any start ups until the
economy collapses so completely. Then how does one attract new start ups to
Andhra? What are the best incentives that can be offered to compensate the high
start up cost?
1. Central Tax Holiday
The fledgling state can
ill afford foregoing revenues. The burden of sin must be carried by the central
government. A 30 year central tax holiday on all industrial investments in
Andhra – Excise and Other Central Taxes – can quickly draw the capital to
A minimum of 5
Special Economical Zones – 3 in Coastal Belt and 2 in the Interior – with
necessary infrastructure to be built under BOT. Land must be provided from
surplus government land identified and notified avoiding acquisition related
Indian Railways had always been a major source of employment and enterprise. Various
regions of Andhra will be dependent on zones headquartered in Chennai, Hubli,
Bhubaneswar and now Secunderabad. Vijayawada had always been a major rail hub
and has all the land and infrastructure to be the zonal headquarters.
Separate Railway Zone at Vijayawada
With Guntakal, Waltair,
Renigunta and Gudur divisions included, this is not only viable but also ideal for
the growth of communications within the state.
for higher education to make the youth of Andhra compete with the best in the
country and also to create a qualified pool of resource for the growth process
is needed. In spite of successive HRD ministers, Andhra is yet to receive an IIM
or IIT. Today a large number of students from Andhra are travelling outside the
state for premium education.
IIT at Anantapur
Will not only be a beacon of hope to the students
from the dry and backward regions of Rayalaseema, but its proximity to the
cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad will provide the necessary market for
IIM at Visakhapatnam
Will provide not only the environment and industry
base for sustained managerial resource necessary for growth.
Transport and Communication: Historically, the
interior parts of Andhra trailed far behind the coastal plains – this is not
only true of Rayalaseema region but the western taluks of the coastal districts
– due to non-availability of irrigation and communication systems that are a
legacy of the British Raj with only significant exception being the ayacut of Nagarjuna
Sagar and Nadikudi railway line. Nalamalai range of mountains stands as a wall
between the interior and the coast. A comprehensive plan needs to address this
6. Parallel National Highway
Nayudupet and Vijayawada linking Kalahasti, Venkatagiri, Badvel, Kanigiri,
Markapur, Vinukonda with a parallel bridge across Krishna near Sattenapalle / Amaravati
belt. The coastal highway between Ongole and Kattipudi to be developed as a
six-lane dual carriage way.
7. A Rail-Road Nalamala Corridor
Between the capital region and Guntakal with a
dual carriageway and a double-line electrified railway is essential for
unifying the coastal and interior Andhra. All environmental clearances must precede
the separation process.
8. Another Major Port
the longest coastline between Visakhapatnam and Chennai to cater the hinterland
is essential to sustain the envisaged growth in Andhra. The distance between
Visakhapatnam and Chennai is close to a thousand kilometers. Nowhere in the
Indian peninsula does one find such a long distance between two major ports. Currently
the minor ports of Kakinada and Krishnapatam are too close to the existing major
ports and a site near Nizampatnam is
ideal for a modern port with a container terminal.
Finally, the capital: It is needless to say the
availability of surplus government land is going to be the singular criterion
for its selection. If it is the 16 km wide stretch of land between the railway
line and the beach near Ongole, let it be. Probably, it will be reasonably more
acceptable to Rayalaseema as it forms a part of the Greater Rayalaseema being
touted by some politicians. Due to its position hemmed in between the railway
line and the coast it has limitations, though not insurmountable. Unless a
comprehensive capital development plan with necessary provisions for multiple road
links across the railway line and a dependable water source, a capital there is
untenable. If one leaves it to the greedy politicians and their ad-hoc
administrators, disaster is imminent.
9. A Capital Development Plan
necessary resources, outsourced to a qualified international consortium to design
and develop the administrative capital in a time-bound manner and provide surplus
space for long term growth.
10. The Fund
be adequate and must support the plan and the execution of which must be
transparent under a specific independent authority. The fund also must provide
for probable cost overruns due to inflation and the Chidambaram Effect on
Rupee. All expenditure and delays must be audited and available in public
The harebrained decisions of the central powers
have given into the demands of lumpen elements driven by selfish politicians
for their short term ends and succeeded in polarizing the people.
As there is little
hope that some statesmanship still prevails in convincing our Telangana
brethren in seeing the advantages of being united, this TEN POINT CHARTER may provide the road-map for future.