Airports, star hotels in all Andhra districts
The Andhra Pradesh government plans to develop airports, three- to four-star hotels, special economic zones (SEZs), universities and multi-speciality hospitals in all 23 districts of the state.
The Congress government has also promised to develop ports in all coastal districts and supply round-the-clock uninterrupted electricity and natural gas.
It was raining promises in Governor ND Tiwari's address to the joint session of the legislature Monday, marking the beginning of the budget session.
With its eyes on next year's assembly elections and keeping in view the fact that this would be the last budget before the polls, the government made promises to woo all sections of the people.
The governor said every district would have an airport. While noting that the new international airport in Hyderabad is scheduled to commence operations from March 16, he said another international airport would come up near coastal city of Visakhapatnam.
As the state bagged the highest number of SEZs (71) in the country, the governor announced that such zones would come up in every district. He also promised a university in every district. As part of efforts to promote tourism, three- to four-star hotels would be developed in every district headquarters.
The governor announced that work would soon start on a 66-km metro rail line in the state capital. He also announced the setting up of three new medical colleges in Adilabad, Srikakulam and Ongole and three super speciality hospitals in Guntur, Kurnool and Warangal towns.
Claiming all-round development during the last three-and-a-half years, the governor said the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government would continue to give top priority to agriculture and irrigation.
"The two sectors together account for 46 per cent of the total budget," he said. The allocation for irrigation and agriculture increased from Rs 22.36 billion in 2003-04 to Rs 137 billion in 2007-08.
"The government is committed to use every drop of water," he said while announcing plans to complete 27 irrigation projects by next year to bring 1.7 million acres of additional land under irrigation. He claimed that 12 projects were already completed under the government's ambitious 'Jalayagnam' programme.
The governor said the food grains production was expected to touch 15 million tonnes this year thanks to the government's efforts to improve agricultural production and irrigation potential.
Frequent interruption from the main opposition Telugu Desam Party and Telangana Rashtra Samiti members marred the governor's address. While TDP raised slogans over farmers' suicides and against the alleged corruption in irrigation projects, TRS members shouted slogans demanding separate statehood to the Telangana region.
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