It will be curtains for Amaravati on 20 January. The cabinet meeting scheduled to be held before the special session of the Andhra Pradesh assembly will not only discuss the contents of the GN Rao and the Boston Consulting Group on the capital issue but also give final touches to the Bill that will repeal the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Act. Rajya Sabha MP Vijayasai Reddy confirmed to Filter Kaapi that the legislative formality will be done during the short three-day session.
But work on shifting the administrative capital has already begun. Senior bureaucrats in the Andhra Pradesh government say close to 17000 government officials, including Heads of Departments, will have to move to Vizag. Amaravati then will be just a glorified cluster of villages with only the Assembly building to boast of. The government machinery will travel to Amaravati only twice a year once the Vizag shift happens – for the monsoon and the winter sessions of the Assembly.
A large number of government officials will be affected by this order. That is because a large number of babus still have their families staying in Hyderabad and the arrangement at present is that these officers take off on Friday evening to Hyderabad and return on Monday morning. With Vijayawada-Hyderabad just five hours by road, they do not need to depend on more expensive flights. But with Vizag a good 12-14 hours from Hyderabad, these weekend jaunts will become less frequent and more expensive. That is not likely to please many officers.
Meanwhile, the Telugu Desam is ensuring the protests in Amaravati do not ebb. On Bhogi, Naidu led the people in burning copies of the Rao and Boston Consulting Group reports in the fire.