Centre’s meager special assistance to Andhra Pradesh started stirring up resentment among the intellectuals of Andhra Pradesh. First to react was former union power secretary and environmentalist EAS Sarma from Vizag. Sarma expressed strong displeasure at the centre’s meager special assistance and described this as highly discriminatory. In this back drop chief minister Naidu’s extravagant capital construction along with Pattiseema project would only rob the backward regions of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra of their legitimate share of funds, he said. Cautioning Naidu of serious political repercussions, Sarma today dashed off a letter to CM Naidu and asked him stop his Guntur-Krishna centric programs. He was especially unhappy with quantum of funds allocated for the development of backward regions of North Coastal AP and Rayalaseema.
“The allocation of Rs 350 cr for seven districts indicative of grave injustice being meted out to the people of these region,” he said. “The State government has already diverted a huge chunk of the budgetary resources to the tune of Rs 1500 crore for constructing the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project that will once again benefit the farmers of Krishna District at the cost of the other regions. Similarly, the huge and extravagant expenditure that is being incurred on the capital city project has already dented the budget at the expense of the people of north AP and Rayalaseema and the latest announcement by the Centre has further accentuated the bias against the two regions,” he wrote in the letter.
He said the state government under Naidu’s leadership had assumed the role of diverting resources from north AP and Rayalaseema to the Krishna-Guntur region in a highly questionable manner. The way your government has been syphoning off funds from north AP and Rayalaseema is not only detrimental from the point of view of regional equity but also from the point of view of spending adequate funds on crucial secttors such as health, education, social welfare, especially the welfare of the SCs/ STs/ OBCs. As a result of the extravagant expenditure incurred on the capital city project, the State treasury has been under an intense stress and several welfare schemes stand starved of funds,” he said. Stating that the centre had decided this pattern of allocation of funds after many meetings with chief minister Naidu in the past two days, the bureaucrat said this might have Naidu’s concurrence.
Describing the capital city project as a millstone around the neck of the people of AP.
“There is a proposal now to divert Krishna water to feed the capital city, involving a huge expenditure. There are reports that additional expenditure will have to be incurred on raising the level of some parts of the project area to prevent flooding. In all these matters, the public has been kept in the dark,” Sarma added.
He cautioned chief minister that state government was rushing into acts of regional discrimination and would not augur well for the future. He referred to the great deal of dissatisfaction being created among the people of north AP and Rayalaseema, who can no longer acquiesce.