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SUMMARY OF THE REPORT OF COMMITTEE FOR CONSULTATION ON THE SITUATION IN ANDHRA PRADESH
1. Shri Justice B. N. Srikrishna report was submitted to the Government on 30.12.2010. The Terms of Reference of the Committee are enclosed.
2. In its 461 pages Report (along with Volume II containing Appendices), the Committee has examined in great detail the following issues:
(i) Developments in Andhra Pradesh – A Historical Background
(ii) Regional Economic and Equity Analysis
(iii) Education and Health
(iv) Water Resources, irrigation and Power Development
(v) Public Employment Issues
(vi) Issues Relating to Hyderabad Metropolis
(vii) Sociological and Cultural Issues
3. Based on the analysis of the above parameters the Committee has examined in detail the issues pertaining to current demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of keeping the State united. After going into all aspects of the situation as well as keeping in view the local, regional and the national perspectives, the Committee has put forward the following solutions/possible options as the best way forward:
(i) Maintaining Status Quo
The Committee is of the unanimous view that it would not be a practical approach to simply maintain the status quo in respect of the situation. Some intervention is definitely required and though maintaining the existing status quo is an option, it is favoured the least.
(ii) Bifurcation of the State into Seemandhra and Telangana; with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two States developing their own capitals in due course
There is a definite likelihood of serious backlashes in the Telangana region and an overall consideration the Committee found this option was also not practicable.
(iii) Bifurcation of State into Rayala-Telangana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana
This scenario is not likely to be accepted either by the pro-Telangana or by the pro-united Andhra protagonists. While this option may have economic justification, the Committee believes that this option may not offer a resolution which would be acceptable to people of all three regions.
(iv) Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory. This Union Territory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the south-east to district Guntur in coastal Andhra and via Mahboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema
This is likely to receive stiff opposition from Telangana protagonists and it may be difficult to reach a political consensus in making this solution acceptable to all.
(v) Bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhra as per existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital
The Committee feels that this option has to be given consideration. The continuing demand for a separate Telangana has some merit and is not entirely unjustified. In case this option is exercised the apprehensions of the coastal Andhra and the Rayalaseema people and others who were settled in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana with regard to their investments, properties, livelihood and employment would need to be adequately addressed. Considering all aspects, the Committee felt that while creation of separate Telangana would satisfy a large majority of people from the region, it will also throw up several other serious problems. Therefore after taking into account of the pros and cons the Committee did not think it to be the most preferred, but the second best option. Separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if this decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions.
(vi) Keeping the State united by simultaneously providing certain definite Constitutional / Statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region – creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council
In this option it is proposed to keep the State united and provide Constitutional / Statutory measures to address the core socio-economic concerns about the development of the Telangana region. This can be done through the establishment of a statutory and empowered Telangana Regional Council with adequate transfer of funds, functions and functionaries. The Regional Council would provide a legislative consultative mechanism for the subjects to be dealt with by the Council.
The united Andhra option is being suggested for continuing the development momentum of the three regions and keeping in mind the national perspective. With firm political and administrative management it should be possible to convey conviction to the people that this option would be in the best interest to all and would provide satisfaction to the maximum number of people in the State. It would also take care of the uncertainty over the future of Hyderabad as a bustling educational, industrial and IT hub/destination. For management of water and irrigation resources on an equitable basis, a technical body, i.e. Water Management Board and an Irrigation Project Development Corporation in expanded role have been recommended. The above course of action should meet all the issues raised by Telangana people satisfactorily.
The Committee discussed all aspects of this option and while it acknowledges that there will be certain difficulties in its implementation, on balance, it found it the most workable option in the given circumstances and in the best interest of the social and economic welfare of the people of all the three regions. The core issue being one of the socio-economic development and good governance, the Committee, keeping the national perspective in mind, is of the considered view that this option stands out as the best way forward.