"It is not that easy to pick a capital but we are as close to an answer as possible. Location of the capital should, however, be decided by the state government in consultation with the Centre," Sivaramakrishnan told a press conference here this evening after a two-hour discussion with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on the subject.
"Much more than the symbolic value of capital, development is more important. We have identified nearly 13-14 locations all over AP which can be developed as growth centres. We should see that no particular centre becomes dominant. The state government is conscious about this," the former bureaucrat remarked, adding that they "felt encouraged" that the Chief Minister had a vision. "AP is now more like Kerala. The Chief Minister has a vision for whole of AP. He is planning for state-wide development. Balanced development will be the fruit of AP," Sivaramakrishnan said.
Noting that "this kind of bifurcation (of the state) is unprecedented in Indian history", he, however, observed that building the new state provided a "great opportunity" of doing things differently. The expert committee, he added, suggested examples of various capital cities to the Chief Minister like Canberra, Islamabad, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Putrajaya and Brasilia. "You need not necessarily have all in one place.
For Bhubaneswar, there is Cuttack. For Gandhinagar, there is Ahmedabad where development is spread. Kuala Lumpur is Malaysias capital but all government offices are located in Putrajaya. Similarly, there is Rawalpindi for Islamabad. The Bhubaneswar model is reasonably successful," Sivaramakrishnan explained.
"The state government has 192 offices, all located in Hyderabad. There are 89 other organs related to AP in Hyderabad. Now, all these need not be located in one place in the new state. There is no point having the office of Director of Ports in Anantapuram where there is no water at all," he pointed out.