Chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is a man on a mission, this being the setting up of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. After the formation of Telangana state, the Centre-appointed K.C. Sivaramakrishnan committee got to work and began scouting for areas to locate the capital zone of the residuary state. Naidu was initially reluctant to discuss the matter, saying it was up to the panel to suggest the ideal location. However, once the Sivaramakrishnan panel submitted its report saying the Vijayawada-Guntur region was “unfeasible and undesirable”, saying it would add to the “honeypot” character similar to that of Hyderabad, Naidu saw red. The panel felt that locating a capital in this region would take away from the growth prospects of other centres in the state.
The Sivaramakrishnan panel suggested three alternatives; the Vizag sub-region, the Rayalaseema arc and the Kalahasti spine. Naidu was quick to dismiss these suggestions. The Telugu Desam government has decided to locate the capital between Vijayawada and Guntur or what is called the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri (VGTM) region. “Vijayawada will be the nucleus and the rest will happen over time,” says Parakala Prabhakar, communications advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government.