Ending the dominance of dry region (Hyderabad) over the wet zones (coastal region) after more than a 1000 years,  Andhra Pradesh is establishing its permanent base  in  Amaravati capital development region on the banks of river Krishna, at  a  village called Velagapudi. 

 

Heralding new phase in the history of Andhra Pradesh, the government will become fully  operational from October 3, 2016.

 

Historically, Vengi was the lost grand capital city in the rich and fertile coastal Andhra during Eastern Chalukyas time between 7th and 12th centuries.  

 

After the collapse of Vengi power, the wet region, between the rivers of Godavari and Krishna came under the domination of powers  from dry regions (Vijayanagara, Nizam, Rayalaseema ) who established capitals in their respective zones. The division of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 2014 has provided a great opportunity for the wet zone to wrest the political power back and set up the capital on the banks of River Krishna. The circle is full. This shifting of capital from Hyderabad to Amaravati is not without any historical significance.

 

Even though the leaders from  North Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema are evidently less enthusiastic,  leaders from wet zone from Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts, are  not in a mood even to avail the ten year-time given in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 to function from Hyderabad, which is declared as joint capital. Political events such as cash-for-vote have also hastened the process, after creating a lot of bad blood between the two states.

 

The Velagapudi transitory government complex  of  six blocks, which is under construction,  will house  various wings of the government. As for government administration is concerned, all departments are gearing up to start  work from October 3, 2016 in a full-fledged way. 

 

Computers, files have been shifted to Velagapudi from Hyderabad secretariat. Everything will be in place at Velagapudi by October 2 and the umbilical cord with Telangana will be cut on October 3. 

 

A skeletal staff at the rate of three or four members from each department will remain in Hyderabad to attend court cases as the judicial division mentioned in the 9 and10 schedule of the AP Reorganisations Act, 2014 are  yet to take place.

 

Though shifting of the government to Andhra Pradesh looked  inevitable on the day of passage of the bill in 2014, the process is going on uncelebrated and in an awkward manner.  No grand farewell  has been organised by Telangana to those who are vacating Hyderabad secretariat  to go to  ‘their’ own state. There is no display of sentiments that normally associate with the separation  of families or brothers and close friends in the secretariat.

 

The  shifting of Andhra government has taken place silently as if it was a clandestine activity. The farewell is confined to some officials who shared same building in the secretariat.  Though there has been no open quarrel in recent past, this silent and uncelebrated separation is clearly indicative of the simmering hostility between the two states.

 

“There should have been grand farewell. Telangana chief minister himself should have personally seen off the the AP chief minister. Similarly, the Telangana chief secretary should have bid farewell to his counterpart in style. This division should have been on a cordial note. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort has happened. Such is the hostility between the two states,” a senior IAS official told Asianet Newsable.

 

To corroborate this, he cited an example. “ Last month Raymond Peter,  a special chief secretary rank official from Telangana, was retired from the service. None of his batch mates from Andhra had been invited to the farewell party, even though all were Andhra cadre officials till 2014. Some AP cadre officials personally sent a word to get them invited. This was turned down by the Telangana side,” he said.

 

The deep-seated enmity is evident in secretariat in many aspects. The major one is the raise of a fence between the two portions of Secretariat. Immediately after the division of secretariat, Telangana erected a fence to prevent people of Andhra cross over to the other side even to meet their friends. Officials crack jokes calling this as Line of Control (LoC) between Andhra and Telangana.

 

Coming back to shifting of capital to Andhra soil, Velagapudi complex consists of six blocks. One is meant for the Chief Minister and the CMO while another  will house Assembly complex.  The remaining four are for the Secretariat departments and utilities. Now, two of the blocks, which are near-ready will function as the Secretariat.

 

As the majority of the employees are not shifting their families, government has organized accommodation for the women employees on sharing basis in Rain Tree Complex near Guntur.

 

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is now based at Vijayawada will shift to his new CMO at Velagapudi on October 11, after performing a puja on Dasara. First to move into their respective offices at the complex were deputy chief minister Chinna Rajappa, Municipal Minister Krishnaiah and Transport Minister Raghavarao.

 

Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasadarao has already announced that the next assembly session would take place at Velagapudi complex.

 

As the government has set the final deadline, after many fits and starts, all employees appear to have fallen in line to work from the new temporary capital till the permanent capital is constructed in Amaravati. No murmur is heard, and dissent is noticed.