With Telangana state getting cleared by Parliament, the hunt for a new capital has acquired even more urgency. While Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Ongole are top options, here are three dark horses.
State government last week suggested de-notification of large areas of forest and reserve forest land. This throws three other locations in the ring — Kakinada in East Godavari district in Coastal Andhra, Vinukonda and Macherla in Guntur district of Coastal Andhra.
According to Chief Secretary P K Mohanty, 1.5 lakh acres of contiguous land would be required to establish a new capital township.
“But it is a long-drawn process,” argues political commentator T Ravi. “The Centre will have to expedite clearances and permissions if forest land is to be used. There will be a lot of protests and concerns about damage to the environment.”
There is also the problem of water. For example, as Hyderabad expanded and population grew quickly, the local water sources proved inadequate and special arrangements had to be made to pump Krishna river water through pipelines. “A capital township will need millions of litres of water daily. Water may have to be diverted from other areas to the new capital to make it viable and sustainable,” says the official at Vijayawada’s School of Planning and Architecture.