Guntur (GNT): “A new railway zone will also be set up in the region and there will be a metro rail project for Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, and another project connecting Vijayawada and Guntur”, said the Union Minister for Rural Development Mr.Jairam Ramesh, on Tuesday here. He said that the proposed industrial corridor between Visakhapatnam and Chennai is likely to attract an investment of Rs.1 lakh crore in 10 to 15 years. The corridor, on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor, is one of the several sops offered by the Central Government to Seemandhra to protect its interests following the formation of separate Telangana state.
Ramesh told reporters here that the corridor is one of the key components of the special package for Seemandhra included in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganistaion Act apart from New Railway Zone and Metro Rail systems for Vizag and Vijayawada-Guntur.
The successor state of Andhra Pradesh will comprise Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions or Seemandhra, as they are together called.
A petroleum refinery and a petrochemical complex in Seemandhra will be established.
Ramesh said the Centre would establish one IIT, one IIM, one central university, one agriculture university, one tribal university and one super specialty health complex in Seemandhra.
The central minister is on a visit to Seemandhra to explain to people the measures taken by the Central Government to protect their interests in the wake of bifurcation.
He said under a special development package of Rs.10,000 crore for four districts of Rayalaseema and three districts of north coastal Andhra, measures would be taken for development of agriculture, irrigation, drinking water supply, education and health over the next seven years.
Rayalaseema and Telangana will get tax incentives for 10 years to attract new investment.
He said Seemandhra would become the 12th state in the country to get special category status. “The state will get a minimum Rs.50,000 crore from the centre over the next five years,” he added.
He pointed out that the central government has also given commitment to execute the Polavaram multi—purpose project, which is estimated to cost Rs.20,000 crore. The centre will contribute 90 percent of the funds for the project which will ensure drinking water to Vizag, irrigation in Godavari basin, transfer water from Godavari to Krishna and generate electricity.
He said the Act provide for two boards for distribution of water from Krishna and Godavari rivers to address the concerns of both the states. The boards will ensure implementation of existing awards. The central government will appoint the chairmen of the two boards. While the Godavari board will be based in Telangana, the Krishna board will operate from Seemandhra.
The minister said since almost all educational institutions are located in Hyderabad, the students of Seemandhra will be protected by continuing the existing entrance examinations and the quota in admissions for 10 years.
He said work had already started for bifurcation of 84,000 state employees between the two states. He clarified that employees would be bifurcated according to their option.
He also assured that two high courts and two public service commissions would be in place in the next three to four months.