The decision on picking a new capital has gone through several twists and turns over the years, and a matter that was listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on January 31 was ultimately not taken up
According to Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam would serve as the state’s new capital (January 31).
Hyderabad, the former capital of undivided Andhra Pradesh, is currently shared by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh needs a new capital as a result.
The choice of a new capital has undergone a number of changes throughout time, and a case that was scheduled for consideration in the Supreme Court on January 31 was finally dropped.
This is what has taken place thus far.
First, what exactly did Chief Minister Reddy say?
“I am here to invite you to Visakhapatnam, which will be our capital in the days to come,” the Chief Minister Reddy said in a speech to investors at the International Diplomatic Alliance Meet in New Delhi. In the coming months, I’ll be moving there as well. I’m extending an invitation to you to attend the Global Investors Summit that we are hosting in Visakhapatnam on March 3 and 4.
So, what is the importance of this announcement?
This declaration is interpreted as Jagan’s affirmation that he will move forward with his proposal for the decentralisation of Andhra Pradesh and build three capitals for the state, each serving a particular function.
Amaravati, which the former CM N Chandrababu Naidu had started to construct, has been proposed by Jagan to serve as the state capital — the legislative capital, Visakhpatnam as the executive capital, and Kurnool as the judicial capital of the state.
Decentralized development will continue, according to statements made in public forums by government ministers and Jagan’s YSRCP leaders in recent weeks, and the government would shortly begin operating from Visakhapatnam.
But hasn’t the government withdrawn the Bill to create three capitals?
Yes, it has, but the concept of three capitals is still very much alive.
Amaravati will continue to serve as the state capital after the Jagan administration passed a bill in the Assembly in January 2020 repealing the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Act, 2014, which was passed by the previous TDP administration.
The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, which was also approved by the Jagan administration, established three distinct capitals for the state.
to be known as “Capital(s),” to enable a decentralised style of government and to offer inclusive governance in the State, according to clause 7 of the Act. According to the Act, Kurnool would serve as the state’s “Judicial Capital,” Amaravati as its “Legislative Capital,” and Visakhapatnam as its “Executive Capital.”
The Jagan government’s strategy, though, encountered issues.
A petition against the government’s decentralisation decision was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court by hundreds of farmers who had given up their land for the development of the capital city at Amaravati during the previous TDP regime and who had banded together under the Rajdhani Rythu Parirakshana Samithi banner.
In November 2021, the state government chose to repeal the decentralisation law because it had been mired in legal entanglements. The Chief Minister promised the Assembly that the government would reintroduce a “better” and “complete” Bill after closing the gaps in the first one. He made no timeframe reference.
The Three Capitals Act was repealed, but the Jagan administration c
The Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had heard the petitions of farmers who had donated land for Amaravati, issued a directive to the state government on March 3, 2022, ordering it to develop the (then-proposed) capital in accordance with the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act of the previous TDP government. The court also set a deadline of six months for the city’s development.
The order said that other plans too, such as the development of nine theme cities — knowledge city, health city, electronics city, tourism city, justice city, media city, sports city, finance city, and government city at Amaravati — as envisaged under the CRDA should be carried through.
What did the state government do after the order
The state administration made a few haphazard attempts to develop the plots, but in September of last year, it challenged the High Court’s order in the Supreme Court.
Because he had previously expressed a position on the question of Andhra Pradesh’s bifurcation in 2013, before the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, former Chief Justice U. U. Lalit withdrew from the case.
The High Court’s orders were disapproved by the SC on November 28, 2022, and their execution was halted.
“Direction 5 is utterly inappropriate,” stated Justice K. M. Joseph. “You cannot create the capital city in six months.”
Why do you use the term capital city? During that time, Live Law reported
According to the Live Law article, Justice B V Nagarathna remarked: “What kind of directives has the High Court issued? Can the High Court act as a chief engineer and town planner? Since the Court lacks knowledge in these areas, we do not get involved. The High Court wants a whole metropolis to develop in two months without any competence.
By the next date of hearing, January 31, 2023, the Bench requested comments from the Centre, the Andhra Pradesh government, and the Amravati Rajdhani Rythu Parirakshanan Samiti. However, the topic was not discussed on January 31, and a new date will now be provided.
“The matter was listed in the cause list for today, but hearing did not take place. A fresh date will be issued,” YSRCP MP V Vijay Sai Reddy told The Indian Express.
So what is the state government’s plan now?
The fate of the farmers and the already-developed assets at Amaravati is still up in the air while the case waits for a final ruling from the SC. The state administration has been promoting decentralisation, as evidenced by the chief minister’s statement on Visakhapatnam on January 31.
A budget of around Rs 100 crore has been set up to tidy up and beautify Visakhapatnam in advance of the Global Investors Summit on March 3–4. On March 28 and 29, the city will also play host to the G20 Summit Working Group Committee.