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Naidu takes a capital on rent
S RAMA KRISHNA  Hyderabad | 26th Sep 2015

The Raintree complex.

Andhra Pradesh is all set to get a temporary capital, which will function out of a set of buildings that have been rented by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu's government at a private township between Vijayawada and Guntur. Naidu has issued orders to shift his base from Hyderabad to these rented premises that will function as the new capital from 1 November, as he wants to stay close to his people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone of the new capital, Amaravati on 22 October, in the presence of the Premiers of Japan and Singapore. But the core capital zone is expected to be constructed not before October 2017. Meanwhile, Naidu is keen on moving out of Hyderabad as soon as possible to this rented capital zone. There are reports that he may shift by the end of October.

A state Cabinet panel headed by Yanamala Ramakrishnudu has identified two major private residential townships to set up the rented capital. A gated community, Raintree Park, inside Malaysia Township near Vijayawada has been selected as the residential quarters of the ministers and senior IAS officials. All key heads of departments will operate from these rented buildings.

A separate riverfront guest house, Lingamaneni Resorts has been chosen for the Chief Minister's residence, but an official decision is yet to be taken on the matter. Raintree Park has 271 luxury apartments and 98 villas, all of which will be taken over by the AP government. The Cabinet panel has agreed to pay a rent of Rs 11 per sq feet for the premises and the agreement will initially be for a period of two years.

Ramakrishnudu will sign the agreement with the Raintree Park Residents' Association next week and the overall rent burden will be around Rs 6 crore per annum. At present, Raintree Park has some residents, but they will not be asked to vacate the place. Raintree Park has all facilities including club houses and commercial complexes.

The AP government will sign another rental agreement with the owners of Medha Tower, an industrial park near Gannavaram airport near Vijayawada, which will be used as the offices of the Chief Minister and other ministers. For all practical purposes, Medha Towers will be the makeshift AP Secretariat, until a permanent one comes up at Amaravati.

Guntur district collector Kantilal Dande, who negotiated the rent agreement with Raintree Park, told The Sunday Guardian on phone that the area was conveniently located and the public would be able to meet ministers and senior officials without any hassles. "There is enough space for parking for the Secretariat staff, and the place is well-connected with both Vijayawada and Guntur," he said.

The decision to shift to a temporary capital is in tune with CM Naidu's keenness to leave Hyderabad immediately. The city, at present is the common capital of both AP and Telangana. "We want to work from within AP so that the government is available to entertain those who want to meet the CM, ministers and other officials," Ramakrishnudu told the media in Hyderabad on Friday.

CM Naidu is currently spending at least four days a week in Vijayawada.

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