The officials are pooling cars to travel with their colleagues, and discuss their work and a wide range of topics during the five-hour drive to Hyderabad, which is 275 km from Vijayawada.
Most of the bureaucrats are staying alone in the new capital of Amaravati after shifting to the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi, and one thing they look forward to the most is catching up with their families during the weekends.
Many of these officials decided not to shift their families to Amaravati due to a lack of social life, education and proper healthcare facilities there. They are finding car-pooling to be the best option to visit their families back home as it is economical, comfortable and faster than going by train or bus.
These bureaucrats have mostly been given accommodation in a posh secluded community on the Guntur-Vijayawada highway, though some of them are staying in department guest houses. For other secretariat employees, Indian Railways is running a daily train from from Secunderabad to Vijayawada and vice versa.
“Three or four of our colleagues pool a car for the weekend trip to Hyderabad, so it does not get boring for us. The trip is both fun as well as economical. As for travel expenses, we pool the money and pay it to the government,” a special chief secretary-level officer said. They embark on the trip to Hyderabad on Saturday morning and get back to work in Vijayawada on Monday morning.
Most of these bureaucrats go on such trips every alternate weeks.Meanwhile, the government is trying to make permanent residential accommodations for these officials.
Following the plan drawn up by capital region development authority, bureaucrats and MLAs will get spacious four-bedroom flats with a plinth area of 3,500 sq ft, while gazetted officers will get three-bedroom flats measuring 1,800 sq ft, and non-gazetted officers will be allotted 1,200 sq ft flats. Class-IV government staff will get 800 sq ft flats.
The revised dimensions of the government quarters came up for discussion at a meeting with the CRDA commissioner and employees’ unions recently. These residential quarters will be built in the government city spread across 1,350 acres, of which around 600 acres will be reserved for greenery, and the construction will start in the remaining 750 acres.