Govt. eyeing hilltop spaces to locate offices

 thehindu.com  08/02/2020 17:50:06 

With the Governor giving his assent to the A.P. Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill-2020 and the AP CRDA (Repeal) Bill-2020, which paves the way for making Visakhapatnam the Executive capital, Kurnool the Judicial capital, and Amaravati the Legislative capital, the focus has now shifted to the infrastructure available in the Port City.

As per sources, officials will start moving to Visakhapatnam from mid-August, and by October, the EC will become operational.

Many are keen to know where will the office of the Chief Minister come up, and the locations of the Secretariat, the Police Headquarters and the DGP office.

Though the officials are tight-lipped, the focus seems to be on the six hills abutting the picturesque Bay of Bengal on the Rushikonda - Bhimili Road.

The three IT sector hills, the tourism hill, the hill allotted to the Adani Groip to set up an IT Park, and the hill where a private resort exists are under focus.

On Hill No.1 in the IT sector, where the Ramanaidu Studios, Miracle Software, and Fluentgrid are located, the total available built-up area is 47 acres. On Hill No. 2, where software companies such as Symbiosys Technologies, Mahati and Asian Infotech are based, the space available is around 25 acres. On Hill No.3, where companies such as IBM, Conduent and the government-owned Startup Village exist, the available space is 90 acres. Of it, 22 acres belongs to the APIIC.

Though there is much vacant space, plug-and-play facility is available in about 20 buildings belonging to the IT companies, some of which are owned by the companies and the others are on lease.

The built-up space of all the companies could be close to 20 lakh sft. But hardly 50% of it is occupied. It is learnt that the government is negotiating to hire the free space available with the companies.

We have approached several companies seeking lease of the entire building. If that works out, then it is just plug-and-play for the government offices and departments, says a senior officer in the district administration.

The hill allotted to the Adani Group has about 1,500 acres space, with 400 acres of ready to build space. The approach road has been laid, the water tank is ready, and street lighting is in place. The tourism hill, which belongs to the government, has a space of over 280 acres, says Director of the A.P. Chamber of Commerce and Industry O. Naresh Kumar.

CMs residence

According to sources, negotiations are under way with the management of the hilltop resort to lease it out, and it may be converted into the Chief Ministers residence and camp office.

The DGPs office and the Police Headquarters are likely to the located at the existing Greyhounds facility at Kapuluppada. The Greyhounds facility is likely to be shifted to Anandapuram, where over 300 acres of land has been identified and surveyed for the purpose.

Housing

With the CMO, the Secretariat and other offices likely to be based on the hills, it is learnt that negotiations are under way to make available the residential flats and row houses in the vicinity for the staff. There are a number of residential projects coming up in the area, including the VMRDAs Harita Project.

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