‘Injustice’ to North Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema
Primepost News Desk
The central government has allocated Rs 1,000 crores to Andhra Pradesh as part of special development assistance. The breakup shows Rs 350 crores for the seven ‘backward’ districts in north Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema; Rs 300 crores for Polavaram project; Rs 350 crores for the proposed capital city. Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema’s Cuddapah, Kurnool, Chittoor and Anantapur districts are considered ‘backward’ in comparison to other districts in AP. For a long time, people in these districts have been feeling neglected and after the bifurcation, they hope to see justice being done to them. However, the way funds are being allotted disappoints many.
In a letter sent to AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu by EAS Sarma of Vizag, a former IAS officer, he has summed up the bitter feelings of people hailing from those seven districts.
He said in his letter: “The manner in which these funds have been allocated is highly discriminatory and it amounts to grave injustice being meted out to the people of both north AP and Rayalaseema. I am sure that this pattern of allocation of assistance from the Centre has its genesis in your meetings with the Union Finance Minister.
“The State government has already diverted a huge chunk of the budgetary resources to the tune of Rs 1500 crores for constructing the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project that will once again benefit the farmers of Krishna District at the cost of the other regions. Similarly, the huge and extravagant expenditure that is being incurred on the capital city project has already dented the budget at the expense of the people of north AP and Rayalaseema and the latest announcement by the Centre has further accentuated the bias against the two regions.
“From this, I cannot help feeling that the State government under your leadership has assumed the role of diverting resources from north AP and Rayalaseema to the Krishna-Guntur region in a highly questionable manner.
“The way your government has been siphoning off funds from north AP and Rayalaseema is not only detrimental from the point of view of regional equity but also from the point of view of spending adequate funds on crucial sectors such as health, education, social welfare, especially the welfare of the SCs/ STs/ OBCs. As a result of the extravagant expenditure incurred on the capital city project, the State treasury has been under an intense stress and several welfare schemes stand starved of funds.
“The capital city project is becoming a millstone around the neck of the people of AP involving a huge expenditure … though the capital city project has benefitted the farmers of Krishna-Guntur region, it is widely believed that intermediary real estate dealers have made huge profits in land deals at the expense of the farmers, the genuine tillers of the soil and the agricultural workers. The way the State government is rushing into acts of regional discrimination will not augur well for the future.”