Do we really need a Second National Capital?

Addressing the public in Chennai, actor turned politician Pawan Kalyan had once again surfaced the idea of having a second National capital. The Janasena President said that in the current scenario South Indian states are always neglected while being optimistic of a second capital solving the case to some extent.

The Janasenani said that ever since the Independence, South Indian states rarely had a say in the national politics. “This means we do not matter in key decisions. If AP was another UP with 80 seats, NDA would have easily given Specials status keeping at least 2019 elections in mind. Everything has become political in NDA’s rule”, Pawan Kalyan said.

Do we really need one?

Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian constitution, also regarded as the Father of the Indian Constitution was against the proposal of making ‘Delhi as the National capital’ during the initial days of independence. In fact, he was in favor of forming Hyderabad as the national capital, citing accessibility to everyone.

No doubt, Delhi is too far from South India and in terms of accessibility to everyone…South Indians states are the worst hit. But then, the Central government has increased transportation facilities to Delhi from almost every major city in the Country. Though this sounds like a viable solution with Railways catering most of the transportation needs to the National capital, there is always an argument for a second capital in the current scenario.

Increasing pollution levels in Delhi has made it the global capital of pollution too. There are times when the AAP government has even declared holidays to educational institutions due to toxic weather conditions. Under such circumstances, to save the ancient city, the government must think of an alternative and if the alternative is scientifically selected keeping in mind the South Indian states…there is more scope for inclusive growth.

Karnataka Minister Deshpande had also written to the Centre over this in January. He urged that the nation needs a second capital while highlighting Karnataka as the best choice. “At a time when the National and Financial capitals are reeling under pollution and congested with high footprints, there is a need for an alternative. I suggest that Karnataka, the nation’s IT-hub is the best choice”.

On the other hand, there are proposals too on dividing different functions of a capital like administrative, financial and judicial functions to different cities. This might work well for populated Countries like India, as the distribution of services to three different locations will automatically decrease congestion and thereby, pollution. Also, in an era of digitalization, the government can also consider making most of the services online….decreasing the need for traveling to the national capital.

There are others who argue that developing another capital means a lot on the treasury. But, will we continue Delhi to deteriorate under pollution?. In a developing country like India, choices have to be made keeping the future in mind. Also, India is not the first country to have a second capital. Many Countries have already adopted this with South Africa topping the list. The African nation has three capital cities. The essence behind the idea is making the constitutional institutions accessible to everyone. Hope the Central government awakes at the right time.