The central government will appoint an experts' committee this week to identify the capital for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh, union minister Jairam Ramesh said Tuesday.
The committee will submit its report in six months, he told reporters. The panel will study various alternatives and pick up a location from among Kurnool, Nellore, Ongole, Guntur, Visakhapatnam and other towns as the capital of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, comprising Rayalaseema and the coastal regions or Seemandhra.
Ramesh said the central government would fund the new capital and hinted that various facilities will come up at different locations. "It is not necessary that all facilities have to be in one location. You can have the assembly in one location, high court in another location and other government offices in a third location," he said.
Ramesh said the Andhra state which was formed in 1953 had its capital in Kurnool but high court in Guntur. He cited similar examples of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. "The expert committee will look into all these. One of the lessons from Hyderabad is that we should not have all at one place because decentralisation of development will not happen," the minister added.
Tight security arrangements were made for the minister's visit to Guntur. Activists of YSR Congress party tried to stop his convoy to protest the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Police arrested several protestors.