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Environmental, Livelihood protests against AP Capital city

Environmental, Livelihood protests against AP Capital city
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With hardly 18,600 acres of the needed 30,000 acres for the first phase of the new capital, the Andhra Pradesh government is in a quandary on next step to achieve its goal of building a world standard capital city. The controversy surrounding the new capital is both a case of concern for environmentalists and also those champions of rural economy.

With hardly 18,600 acres of the needed 30,000 acres for the first phase of the new capital, the Andhra Pradesh government is in a quandary on next step to achieve its goal of building a world standard capital city. The controversy surrounding the new capital is both a case of concern for environmentalists and also those champions of rural economy.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has expressed confidence that the proposed new capital of the state, would be much better than Hyderabad. and its pace as scheduled. Construction of a new capital city on the southern side of river Krishna near Vijayawada is set to begin in June after International Enterprise Singapore (IES) submits a draft master plan by February 15. The first phase is slated to cost around Rs. 32,000 crore for which the state Government is keen to float new bonds and also get investors to install infrastructure and operate.
But the piquant issue for the state government is the refusal of the farmers of three to seven villages of the total of 29 villages in three mandals of Guntur district on the other side of Krishna river that has become a bottleneck. The Singapore Government and Japanese firms who had strong belief in human rights and green culture would not venture to take up the projects if there is ground swell of opposition by the locals. That is the worry of Chandrababu Naidu. 'If the Japanese and Singapore concerns withdraw, our dream of a major capital city will just be a pipe dream," said Chandrababu Naidu during a recent review of the CRDA activity.
Though the campaign against land pooling appears to be politically motivated, it is also infested with the development-preservation of natural resources (Man Vs land) conflict. Almost 1.2 lalkh acres of land including 29 villages, will be dwarfed with concrete jungles. "Though Japanese champion the cause of promoting 40 percent greenery wherever they take up constructions, the loss on the water front land of Krishna will be huge both in terms of ecology and also livelihood options which include both farming, fishing, aquaculture, horticulture and also agriculture for nearly 2 lakh population.
For generations and also civilizations, the people living on the banks of Krishna river have been promoters of their own culture and traditions. As progressive farmers they have been innovators in farming and also allied activities like poultry, aquaculture, agriculture and horticulture. What the government is offering is only in terms of cash or land elsewhere, or house site plot. But there is constructive action plan to give them livelihood options, say the environmentalists.
"For most of the farmers, parting with their lands is a very painful separation as the big question of their bleak future hangs before them. For many it is not just a piece of land, but their family member whom they nourished just as they brought up their families, daughters and sons," says a villager of Tullur.
The reports from Guntur show that most of the TDP leaders leaders have been making hay by purchasing land in the CRDA region and also making huge profits by selling lands for private operators who aim to provide infrastructure like lodges, apartments and also space for the huge hoard of builders who will dawn on the region in the coming days.
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