Former Minister Konathala Ramakrishna has reiterated his appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to honour the promises made to North Andhra in the BJP election manifesto as also those made in the AP Reorganisation Act.
The Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission, which went into the issue of separate statehood for Telangana, in 2010, had observed that failure to address the financial and educational backwardness and poor health facilities in the three districts of North Andhra in a time-bound manner could lead to further discontent and more calls for bifurcation, Mr. Ramakrishna told the media here on Sunday.
Mr. Ramakrishna said that he had written thrice to the Prime Minister in May 2016, November 2016 and again in February 2017 on the issues pertaining to the three North Andhra districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam but failed to get a reply.
“I will send one more letter to the Prime Minister and hope that he would act on it. There is widespread discontent, due to the utter disregard of Uttarandhra (North Andhra), and it is deeper than what the government is perceiving. Another fissure is most likely to surface, if you don’t act swiftly,” he said.
Mr. Ramakrishna drew the attention of the Prime Minister to six issues in his letter. He sought provision of ₹15,000 crore as a financial assistance to Uttarandhra as per the AP Reorganisation Act, which provides for a special development package for the three districts of North Andhra and four districts of Rayalaseema.
This was also promised in the BJP’s election manifesto.
Railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam should be declared immediately as a new zone in AP was promised in the Act and the struggle for a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam was decades old.
Visakhapatnam has the infrastructure required for the purpose.
Though the committee, formed to look into the issue, had submitted its report one-and-a-half years ago, the issue was still being dodged.
The other issues include conversion of the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) into All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), sanctioning of a metro rail project for Visakhapatnam city and provision of captive mines for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant besides providing Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.