30 Dec 2015 12:49 IST

Where shall they go this summer?

AP Secretariat employees in distress over imminent relocation to Amaravati

Srinivas hardly gets any sleep these days. A clerk at the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, he is worried about the education of his 13-year-old daughter. She may have to stay back when he moves to Amaravati, the new capital, in June.

“I want her to stay put in her current school till Class 10. But I’m worried about leaving her in Hyderabad,” he told BusinessLine during lunch hour at the Secretariat here on Tuesday.

M Ramesh, a Section Officer, is equally concerned. His wife is being treated for cancer and he is sceptical of the medical facilities in Vijayawada.

In fact, there are many who are worried about over moving out of Hyderabad. The AP government issued an order on Tuesday for the construction of a makeshift Secretariat in Amaravati, a move that is likely to see about 18,000 government employees working in 33-odd departments leave Hyderabad for the new capital.

The Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) has been authorised to call for tenders for construction of a six lakh-sq ft Secretariat in 20 acres of land in the core capital region, with ₹180 crore being earmarked for the venture. The government will foot half the bill, and the remainder will be through a loan from Hudco.

Unprepared

While the shifting of the administration has been on the cards for long, the government apparently has not engaged its employees in the process so far.

“We have been keeping our fingers crossed so far and have not been consulted by the government in this process. There is talk of a meeting with employees to discuss the issues next month but it is not certain yet,” says Murali Krishna, President, Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Employees Association.

Although a relocation is unavoidable after State bifurcation, it should not cause much trouble to employees, he says.

From housing to transportation, many questions remain unanswered. There is no official study on the available housing units in Vijayawada. The master plan for the new capital released a few days ago also points to the need to develop a framework to achieve the targeted 50 per cent affordable housing within the capital city for various income groups.

Tughlaqian, they say

The employees are seeking concessional or free accommodation for at least a year as rents in the small town have already shot up. “Shifting needs to be based on long-term planning. If we rush it up, it will be like Muhammad Bin Tughlaq shifting his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad without any preparation or plan,” says an employee in the Transport Department.