Telengana: A New Beginning

The Central Government has taken a bold decision by meeting the aspirations of Telengana people and creating a separate state of Telengana. What lies ahead for Telengana and its people and the people of the rest of Andhra Pradesh? There will be a period of transition of about ten years and it has to be ensured that this transition is smooth and trouble free.

The Government has declared that Hyderabad will be the common capital of both states for a period of 10 years. But this should not mean that nothing will be done on the Hyderabad issue for 10 years and after ten years all of a sudden the capital will move to a new location. The Telengana people are fortunate to have such a developed city as its capital. The decision to identify a new capital for the rest of Andhra Pradesh should also be taken soon.

Once the new capital city is identified construction activity should immediately begin to build the new capital. This is going to be a mammoth exercise. Gradually, certain offices of the non-Telengana Government should be moved to the new capital city. This is a process, for which to begin, we should not have to wait for a full 10 years. The process should start immediately. Whenever space becomes available in the new capital a  certain number of offices of the non-Telengana Government should move to the new capital. This is what we mean by stating that the process of creating a new capital should begin immediately and it should be a continuous process until the transition is complete.

One thing which will happen with the creation of a new capital is that some of the staff of the old Andhra Pradesh Government will be rendered surplus and they will have to be moved to the new capital. For this we need new office buildings as well as housing space. Not many of the staff of the old government will be willing to leave Hyderabad. Hence some amount of coercion will have to be exercised.

There will be a section of the staff who voluntarily agree to move to the new capital. But who from the second category will move to the new capital is a delicate question for which we have to find answers. Here, it would be sufficient to state that the staff who move to the new capital should, by and large, be people who have links with the non-Telengana territory of Andhra Pradesh.

When a new capital is created and many of the offices and staff of the old government are shifted to a new capital the importance of Hyderabad city will diminish to a certain extent. There will be some reduction in the population of the city. This will provide some benefits to the staff left behind with the Telengana Government. They will become entitled to more housing space and their offices will become more spacious and less congested.

What happens to the commercial activities in Hyderabad city. One would expect that there will be no change to the commercial sector and business activities in Hyderabad. Some reduction in business activity is inevitable on account of transfer of government offices and staff to the new capital. But it will be desirable that no further changes take place in the commercial landscape of Hyderabad city.

Here we have examined only certain aspects of the transition process underlying the process of bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh and creation of a new capital for the non-Telengana region. The issues discussed were primarily those relating to the capital city of Hyderabad. There are many more issues involved as regards the transition process is concerned which requires careful political handling with all the sensitivity and magnanimity it requires from both sides and also the presiding Government.


More by :  P V Rajeev

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