AP staff concerned with exorbitant rents in Vijayawada

Changing a capital or a state, for that matter, has to be a once-in-a-life-time affair. The people, and now the government staff, should know. Tears rolled down the cheeks of many employees as they left their offices in Andhra Pradesh Secretariat in Hyderabad on Friday.

Reason: Friday was the last official day as employees in Hyderabad. They are packing their bags to leave for upcoming capital city Amaravati on the banks or river Krishna. October 3 is going to be a historic day for Andhra as the government will become fully operational from Amaravati, the much-talked about upcoming capital. When media spoke to a few employees, we could see how emotional they were for the inevitable separation. “I came to Hyderabad in 2002 as a 25 year-old young employee.

After 15 years, I am going back to my native place Vijayawada. I was here during my prime age and I made a vast circle of friends here both at my work place (secretariat), in my neighbourhood and otherwise. Going away from all of them fills in my heart a feeling of missing everything. But, at the same time, I am happy that I am going back to my native place where I have even more larger circle. Thank God, we have mobiles and Facebook,” says S Padmaja, a section officer at the TT section in the revenue department. On her last day in Hyderabad, she went round the Secretariat for a last glimpse. “These buildings may not be there as Telangana government has plans to demolish them to bring up a new Secretariat”, said an emotional Padmaja.

“We work in different states but, we will remain as friends. Many of my friends are going to Andhra, leaving their families here. They will be frequenting. The added advantage we have now is we can also go to Vijayawada and Amaravati to spend time with them. We will explore Andhra,” says P Satyavathi, a Telangana employee as she hugs her friends who have already sent their belongings to Vijayawada and are getting ready for Monday morning bus to start working from Vijayawada from 11 am on the day. The state government has arranged special buses for the employees in the wee hours of Monday.

AP and Telangana women employees had a parting get-together on Thursday on the Secretariat premises. Besides emotional reasons, there is another thing that worries most employees who are shifting: the exorbitant rent rates. “I am scared of the rents in Vijayawada. My colleagues and friends who had already moved to Vijayawada say everything from accommodation to transportation is costly there. A double bedroom flat that comes for Rs 12,000 per month rent in Hyderabad is Rs 22,000 there. The Raintree Apartments (opposite Acharya Nagarjuna University), where most of our employees are staying is too costly”, says A Srinivas, assistant section officer in GAD department.

The final phase of shifting of Andhra Pradesh administration to its new capital became a reality on Friday when the government declared it the last working day for all its employees in Hyderabad today. From Monday, they all will be working from Vijayawada. About 70 young employees, who work in coordination with the Malaysian government for their PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) will be here till October 14 as their office is still getting ready.

While more than 80 per cent of the staff had already been shifted to temporary offices in Vijayawada, the remaining staff and officers packed off lock stock and barrel on Friday. The general administration department (GAD) had moved all its files, computers, furniture and belongings by road to Vijayawada. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, currently operating from a temporary office in Vijayawada, will be shifting to the temporary secretariat block at Velagapudi (near Amaravati town and falling under the Amaravati capital area) on October 11. Construction of the permanent secretariat buildings is yet to begin.

The state government took on lease basis about 40 private buildings in Vijayawada and Guntur to accommodate its offices. However, the secretariat, the core administration, will operate from the six temporary blocks built at Amaravati (the actual capital area) with a cost of Rs 210 crore. AP and Telangana became independent states from June 2, 2014

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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