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This is how all roads lead to Amaravati


Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu today finalized the program for ” People’s capital and Amaravati Construction resolve” . The program, meant to create Amaravati euphoria in Andhra Pradesh begins from Tuesday with celebration of “Our Soil, Our Water and Our Amaravati”. The program will go on till 15.10.2015.

  • 13th, 14th and 15th October – Collect Matti (soil) in cloth bags    and clean water in copper kalasams village wise/ Municipal ward wise and keep in GP/Municipal ward Office.

During the period specimen soil and water will be collected from the anthills and local streams or wells, whichever the local people believe as sacred ,in Kalasham (ritual urn). All these will paraded around the city or town or village amid all-religion prayers. The message is get local people’s blessings to the capital project.

On October 17, all these kalashalu containing specimen soil and water will shifted to constituency centres. All-religion prayers will be conducted once again. On October 18, designated people will carry the sacred soil and water to capital Amaravati.

*October 17: Soil bags and Kalasams to be taken in colourful processions so as to reach Assembly constituency headquarter towns in a convoy.

*October 18:Start for Amaravati,  with a banner Mana Rajadhani Amaravati –Mana Matti – Mana Neeru


All vehicles from all constituency Headquarters  will join at District Headquarters or at District  border and move together on  October 18 or 19  morning (as per the distance) and reach Nagarjuna University  in a convoy by 5 PM on  October 19.


On October 20 and October 21, prayers will be performed for these Kalashalu and later all these sacred urns will be shifted to the exact place where Prime Minister Narendramodi is going to lay the foundation stone. In the meantime, in Krishna Guntur districts, an Amaravati Resolve torch rally will be organized. The CM flag will off the convoy to Amaravati. Government is going to designate officials to oversee all the rituals in villages, towns and constituencies across the state. The entire program will be videographed and preserved for posterity.

  • On October 21, the soil and water is mixed with holy waters from all major rivers of India and kept at a place to be used during Foundation Laying Ceremony and also later for the construction of various public buildings in Amaravati.


On October 18, in Municipal towns and major gram panchayats 2K run and 5K run will be organized to express solidarity to the construction of Amravati capital construction project. Similarly torch rallies will be conducted in every village. Every Village will send a Sankalpa Patram along with water and soil to Amaravati. About 160 temples, 50 churches and 50 masjids have been identified to perform special pujas to propitiate gods to ward off the evil spirits coming in the way of construction of Amaravati.

Three highways have been identified in the state to carrying the soil -water urns to the capital city. The cavalcades carrying the sacred kalasham will ultimately join these highway and march towards Amaravati. It should be planned in such a way that every vehicle carrying the kalasham reached the capital city by October 19.

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Former Chandigarh administrator cautions PM on Amaravati


[intro]Retired IAS and former Administrator of Chandigarh MG Devasahayam also sent an email to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office to caution the PM that his visit to Amravati would be amounting to an act against the thousands of small and marginal farmers, whose livelihood is being trampled upon by the capital project. Dr Devasahayam headed a fact finding committee set up by National Alliance for People’s Movements to study the suitability of the Amaravati area to build a capital city. He says capital city is going to be a Real Estate El dorado of Andrha Pradesh. Following is the edited version of the letter.[/intro]

Dear Mr Misra,

Having led the National Alliance of People’s Movement appointed Fact Finding Mission I have gone into the various aspects of the Andhra Pradesh Capital-City project coming up in Amravati and have fair amount of Information on this. Besides, having been associated with the Chandigarh Capital Project as the Deputy Commissioner cum Estate Officer of the City and Union Territory, I have fair knowledge as to how capital-cities are planned, funded and developed.

The AP state capital in Amravati on which work is proceeding at breakneck speed is in total violation of constitutional provisions, AP Reorganisation Act, Land Acquisition Act-2013 and Environmental Protection Act and Rules made thereunder. Though Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) is the project-proponent in paper, and Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) the project-patron, the project is actually being driven by powerful and moneyed Real Estate operators from Singapore, Hyderabad, AP and Delhi. This project is extremely detrimental to Andhra Pradesh’s agricultural systems, India’s food security and environmental sustainability.


A brief recap. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 was enacted by Parliament as per provisions of Article 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution of India. Under Section 6 of said Act the Central Govt. constituted a Committee headed by late K.C. Sivaramakrishnan, to study various alternatives regarding the New Capital for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and make appropriate recommendation. ToR for the said Committee inter alia includes following:-

· Least possible dislocation to existing agriculture systems as well as ensure minimum resettlement of people and their habitations.
· Preservation of local ecology and natural features including water bodies.
· Vulnerability assessment from natural disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes.
· Assess the scope for minimising the cost of construction and acquisition of land.

Committee did not favor a green-field capital-city for AP at this stage and opined that if the GoAP wants to pursue this option, it has to carry out a careful search for locations where suitably large parcels of government land may be available. Committee after considering all the aspects, found the Vijayavada – Guntur – Tenali – Mangalegiri (VGTM) Region unsuitable for setting up state Capital.

Totally ignoring the Committee Report without assigning any reason, GoAP enacted the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 (CRDA Act) on 30thDec. 2014 and declared VGTM as Capital city and Capital Region Area. This legislation does not have the assent of President of India and therefore untenable being in conflict with Central Acts.


To build this capital-city about 35000 acres of land is being coercively ‘pooled’. This area comprises of very fertile agricultural lands, situated in the Krishna Delta and is within the flood affected and seismic Zone i.e. highly susceptible/vulnerable to Natural Calamities like, Flood, Earthquake and Cyclone. GoAP has not complied with even the preliminary requirements for a large capital-city project such as concept paper, population projection, Social Impact Assessment, land survey & requirement study, feasibility study, Environmental Impact Assessment, Detailed Project Report, Master Planning etc. All that has been done is some farcical documentation to get a hurriedly ‘in-principle’ approval from the state environment authorities who are under the administrative control of the project-patron.

It is pertinent here to point out that in Chandigarh which is the most acclaimed capital area in India, only 9000 acres were taken in Phase 1, and 6000 acres in Phase 2, making a total of 15000 acres. These two phases of the city now with a population of 1.2 million has taken more than 60 years for implementation. Chandigarh is low-rise-low-density city with a high percentage of open space in the form of vistas, avenues, gardens, valleys, lakes etc. As against this AP Capital is being planned as high-rise-high-intensity and such a city for a million plus population in a century or so could be built in about 5000 to 6000 acres. Grabbing 35000 acres is nothing but blatant real-estate venture.

GoAP also does not have the funds to carry out even a fraction of the massive capital-city project estimated to cost over Rs. 300,000 crores. Such a huge expenditure cannot be incurred by the State government without adversely affecting budgetary allocations in the State.


Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) as claimed by GoAP is a sleight-of-hand. In actual fact in order to rush things and coerce farmers into surrendering the land GoAP on 14 May 2015 issued Notification for coercive acquisition of land major tracts of which are irrigated multi-crop land acquisition of which is specifically prohibited under Section 10 of LARR Act, 2013. Also capital-city project does not come under the definition of ‘public purpose’ provided in Section 2 of the LARR Act. What is alarming, this coercively acquired/pooled without paying any compensation to the farmers are being handed over to private agencies on a 99-year lease for commercial exploitation [GOMs No 110 dated 2-5-2015 by GoAP Municipal Adinistration & Urban Development Dept]. It was for this purpose that Section 54 of the CRDA Act provides for ‘Developer Entities’ which are private real estate developers.

AP capital-city project area has two kinds of villages–one with irrigated multi-crop land within 2 km from the river and another with mostly rain fed land. All the villages have a vibrant agricultural economy of Rs.1000 crores per year, with complete linkages from farm to market, and large sections of people deriving livelihoods–including land owners, sharecroppers, tenant farmers and agricultural workers. This is an area of the best soil and climatic conditions, and the richest diversity of more than 120 crops. More than 1 lakh working persons are earning secure livelihood from agriculture in these villages, including the residents and external labour.

The government figures show that 32,153 persons in these villages are mainly dependent on agricultural labour whereas 10,556 persons are mainly dependent on cultivating their land. About 80% of the people involved in agriculture in these villages are landless or marginal farmers who are dependent on agricultural labour and tenancy. There is absolutely no compensation or safeguards being included by the government for these people who will be losing their secure livelihoods.

Master Plan for the capital City is being prepared by a foreign entity in utter secrecy without any consultation process with the stake holders and without taking into consideration the environmental, ecological, social, economic and other ground realities. Prime Minister has been invited to lay the foundation stone on 22 October 2015for a massive capital-city project for which even the basic documentation for land title is not really available with CRDA, the project-proponent. And as per media reports National Green Tribunal on Saturday directed CRDA not to take up any construction-related activity for the new capital-city until the necessary environmental clearances are acquired. NGT also has reportedly restrained the project-proponent from taking up any work, including levelling of the grounds.

Under the circumstances it would be extremely embarrassing for the PM and Government of India to participate in the 22 October function at ‘Amravati’ and lay the foundation stone for a non-existent but extremely hyped ‘project’. It could also be perceived as an act against thousands of small/marginal farmers and agricultural labour whose livelihood would be sacrificed at the altar of this massive, environment-killing Real Estate El dorado which Andhra Pradesh do not require.

M.G.Devasahayam IAS (Retd),
103, Ceebros Bayview, 4th Seaward Road,
Valmikinagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600041
Email: deva1940@gmail.com ; Mobile: 09940174446

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Will Naidu’s Charm Offensive for Amaravati Work?


Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is using every trick in the book to create a tsunami of Andhra pride and Andhra sentiment in support of Amaravati construction. Sentiment does work politics. His father-in- law NT Ramarao used Andhra pride to build Telugu Desam party and challenged Congress monopoly successfully in 1983. Similarly, Telangana sentiment had been cleverly transformed into a massive separate state movement which finally led to the division united Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra pride or Telugu glory had been used on many occasions in past to achieve political goals. So, Naidu this time is trying to stir up Andhra sentiment for a different purpose- to garner support for a massive construction project ie Amaravati capital.

In the past Andhra Pride had been used for pure political purposes: first for the creation of Andhra state in 1953, and then to defeat Congress in 1983. Now, Naidu needs Andhra pride on the scale of a Tsunami to get people’s approval for many things. 1. Capital location has no support from Rayalaseema. 2. It is a political decision to keep the capital immune from the influence of aggressive Reddys of Rayalaseema 3. Guntur and Krishna districts, where capital zone falls, form the core Andhra area, and basically Kamma Nadu, safe zone for Telugu Desam party, which is generally perceived as party of Kammas. 4. There has been wide-spread opposition from small and marginal farmers across the state for taking over of their lands, though non-irrigated in some cases, for the proposed 5 lakh acre land bank creation 5. growing resentment among the students and youth against the Naidu’s policy of not filling the vacancies in government. ( Naidu’s idea is to cut government expenditure on jobs. He has extended retirement age from 58 to 60 years, which takes care of families. And for youth- wait for a couple of years. Hundreds of companies are setting shop in Andhra and you would get the job of your choice, is his message.)

To bury all these negative factors Naidu needs an extraordinary force – the force is Andhra pride and Andhra glory. All festivals like Sankranti have become occasions to celebrate glorious Andhra culture. Even rules had been relaxed to gamble on cock fights, famous in some Andhra districts. Godavari Pushkaralu had been celebrated with the theme of Andhra and building of capital along with rebuilding of Andhra was the message. The massive crowd at Pushkaralu instilled enormous confidence in Naidu that he could get similar support to Amaravati as well. State government is making Kuchipudi, an Andhra dance form, is part of syllabus.

The height of the Andhra charm offensive will be seen in the run up to construction of Amaravti capital. Naidu wants all Andhras, wherever they are, to donate at least a brick or money worth of a brick. This is to create a sense of belonging among Andhras. He is adopting crowd funding in order to make every Andhra become partner of the capital city. An innovative technique ‘digital brick’ is also being planned for non-resident Andhras in which the donor can affix his signature on the digital brick. He is planning a memorial wall on which the names of all farmers, who offered land under land pooling to the capital, will be engraved on the lines of Indai Gate, New Delhi, which displays the names of soldiers, who died in wars fought by colonial Britain. To praise their sacrifice a program called Rytu Vandanam is being planned on the day of foundation laying on October. In order to present that new capital embodies the spirit of every Andhra village, the government has made arrangements to bring soil from 16000 villages and habitations in Andhra kaslasam. This soil will be mixed with the soil of Amaravati at the point of foundation. The mixing of the soil and the place will be consecrated as the confluence all rivers. Recently the diversion of Godavari water into Krishna basin has been celebrated at Pattiseema as the linking to two mighty Andhra rivers.

The capital has already been given a moniker “people’s capital” notwithstanding the criticism that it was a big real-estate venture by “Naidu & Son Co” by opposition parties. Naidu’s plan is to attract Rs 4 lakh crore for construction of capital along with associated townships and industrial hubs. As the centre is not coming forward to help capital beyond core capital which constitute administrative blocks like Secretariat, Assembly complex, High Court, CMO and Raj Bhavan etc, the only option left is involving the Singapore companies, which are demanding huge land about 5000 ac. in capital region in lieu of the cost of construction of the core capital. The proposal has attracted flak from the people and opposition parties. And, now, Naidu needs a wave of Andhra Pride to push through such business deals. Is it possible to create a, Andhra pride for a project which is going to benefit only a section people: realtors, contractors and leaders?

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‘Kurnool should be made summer capital of AP”


Causing embarrassment to TDP leadership, party leader from Kurnool TG Venkatesh demanded that Amaravati Capital Development Region be made into an autonomous zone in Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, he also demanded that Kurnool town be declared summer capital of the state to make up the loss of capital to region.

Venkatesh, who has been spearheading the Rayalaseema movement today organized a massive human chain in the town stretching from historical Kondareddy Buruju. Students, youth and people participated in the program in a big way. Talking on this occasion, he said, Rayalaseema doesn’t want to get cheated in future again. ” When Hyderabad developed as the only face of Andhra Pradesh at the cost of Kurnool, the bifurcation caused enormous loss to the region. Kurnool was the capital on the day when Andhra Pradesh was created in 1956. After bifurcation, Telangana became separated, Rayalaseema did not get the capital back. We lost capital and all the labors we put into the development of Hyderabad. This time, Amaravati should not become another Hyderabad. To ensure that the CRDA should be converted into a free zone. Along with this Kurnool should be announced summer capital of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

Taking up the cause of North Coastal Andhra he said, the region should be made the seat of High Court Bench. Venkatesh said discontentment is brewing in Rayalaseema and it should not be allowed to take undesirable form. Government should immediately take the projects such as Gundla Cheruvu, Vedavati and Siddeswaram in Kurnool district.

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Amaravati becomes a state within the state


Amaravati capital region has almost become a state within the state of Andhra Pradesh. The vast area it covers now will be under the direct control of Chief Minister as there would be no elected body to govern area that falls in Krishna and Guntur districts. So, government has appointed an executive committee of officials to look after the affairs of the CRDA. The in-charge secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (CRDA), Ajay Jain has been appointed chairman of the executive committee. With this, Jain, a 1991 batch IAS officer, has become most influential officer in Andhra Pradesh. Jain, who, one of the blue-eyed boys of ten -year Congress regime between 2004 and 2014, has successfully wriggled out of the Congress legacy unlike many senior officers who got stuck in the past .

Ajay Jain is already looking after the departments of Energy, Investment and Infrastructure . Now he is made chairman CRDA executive committee. Naidu’s entire developmental program is hinging on these three departments- Electricity, investments and capital city. One can easily imagine the clout Jain holds in the state government now. State government has decided to bring more mandals under under AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA). On Tuesday area under the control of CRDA has been extended to 8352 sq km from 7,068 sq km, adding an extent of 1464 sq km to the existing CRDA.

On December 30, 2014 the state government notified 7,068 sq km spread across covering Krishna and Guntur districts as CRDA. About 29 mandals, fully or partly from Krishna district and another 29 mandals, fully or party, from Guntur district had been brought under the wings of CRDA. Within a week, Nandigama Nagar Panchayat, Nuziveedu Municipality and Gudivada Municiapality (Krishna district) , Ponnuru and Sattenapalli Municipalities from Guntur district had been brought under the jurisdiction CRDA.

Now many more municipalities have become part of CRDA with the extension of CRDA to 8352 sq km . The new areas : Jagayyapeta Municipality, 24 villages in Jaggayyapeta mandal, 26 villages in Vatsavai mandal, 12 villages in Penuganchiprolu, 4 villages in Mylavaram Mandal, Two villages, Narsupeta and Digavalli in Nuzivi mandal, Three villages in Bapulapadu mandal, 7 villages in Movva mandal, 9 villages in Ghantasala, two villages in Challapalli, seven villages in Mopidevi, 10 villages in Pamarru, ten villages in Nandivada, six villages in Gudivada and one villages Pedavaram in Nandigama mandal.

Areas in Guntur district that come under CRDA purview: six villages in Atchampeta mandal, five in Krosuru, two in Sattenapalli, three villages in Phirangipuram, two in Edlapadu, Vangipuram in Pratipadu, Three villages in ponnuru, eight villages in Bhattiprolu.

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