19-07-201919-07-2019 12:59:17 IST
Updated On 19-07-2019 18:01:37 ISTUpdated On 19-07-20192019-07-19T07:29:17.332Z19-07-2019 2019-07-19T07:23:10.650Z - 2019-07-19T12:31:37.679Z - 19-07-2019
In a major development, the World Bank has withdrawn its commitment to extend financial aid for the development of Amaravati capital in Andhra Pradesh. On an initiative by the previous TDP government led by Chandrababu Naidu in 2016, the World Bank had committed to a $300 million assistance, which is roughly Rs 21,100 crores. This is being seen as the first major blow to the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government, coming within 50 days of its rule. The Telugu Desam Party has wasted no time in squarely blaming Jagan’s negative approach towards the capital plan, for this predicament.
The $300-million financial aid that the World Bank committed to the state was actually less than half of the total project cost of $715 million, as estimated by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region DevelopmentAuthority (APCRDA). In fact, the capital development plan, one of Chandrababu Naidu’s pet projects, has been facing rough weather with questions raised on its worth at such huge costs. Even before the previous TDP government could embark on it, it faced stiff resistance from farmers of the capital region and people’s organizations. These agitators petitioned the World Bank alleging that the project is unwarranted and it would end up robbing them of their livelihood besides affecting the environment.
In the melee, the land-pooling exercise for the development of the capital was also mired in controversy. Political parties led by the YSRCP, which was in opposition then and several other independent organizations questioned the rationale in procuring a whopping 30,000 acres of land for new capital. The TDP government came under fire for being too ambitious and extravagant in its plans while neglecting several other priority areas that deserved attention, especially after bifurcation of the state.
More than the political noises, the complaints from the farmers and people’s group are believed to have influenced the World Bank’s decision to withdraw its commitment for the project. Also, the universal lending entity adheres to a list of strict guidelines in extending financial assistance across the world. One of which is staying away from projects that are likely to cause damage to the greenery in the name of urbanization and are detrimental to the environment.
-Durga Prasad Kanamaluru
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