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AP Cabinet defers taking decision on relocating state capital

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Friday deferred taking a decision on relocating the state capital after Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy reportedly told his colleagues there was no hurry to undertake the exercise, which has created some unrest among people.

Before firming up its decision on the capital and related issues, the government would constitute another high-powered committee to study the report of the experts committee and also the soon to be submitted report of an international consultancy firm, Cabinet sources said.

Though there was anticipation that the government might take a decision on the capital, based on a report submitted by a six-member committee of experts, headed by retired IAS officer G N Rao, the Cabinet only decided to wait for the report of Boston Consulting Group, the sources said.

The Cabinet, however, discussed the recommendations of the G N Rao committee.

The government had engaged the international consultancy firm to study various aspects related to the development of the state capital, the costs involved and other factors. BCG had submitted an interim report to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy a few days ago,suggesting that a "brownfield capital would be best suited rather than a "greenfield capital" that involves huge costs.

The BCG reportedly referred to the capitals of various countries like Brazil, Sri Lanka and how they were developed.

"For a state like ours, the BCG felt a brownfield capital will do, where the cost of development will be minimal, a top official told PTI.

BCG is expected to submit its final report on January 3, 2020, after which the government will constitute a high- powered committee with bureaucrats to analyse the reports of the G N Rao committee and the international consultancy firm.

The high-powered committee will submit its recommendations to the state government, based on which a final call on the state capital and related issues will be taken, according to Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani).

"We will also take the views of the farmers, who gave up fertile agricultural land for the development of Amaravati and listen to their grievances before taking a final call on the capital issue, Nani told a media briefing after the cabinet meeting.

The Chief Minister had indicated on December 17 that Andhra Pradesh could have three capitals, on the lines of South Africa, as decentralization was a real concept.

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