Andhra Pradesh

A.P. Cabinet decides to revoke 'three capitals' Acts

The Andhra Pradesh State Assembly. File   | Photo Credit: V. Raju

The Andhra Pradesh government passed a Bill to repeal the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, and the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Repeal Act of 2020 on Monday to come up with a more comprehensive legislation that ‘dispels the wrong notions of the land-givers in Amaravati’ and clarifies its position on the legalities raised by the petitioners in the High Court. However, it laid out no timeframe for the exercise.

According to the Bill, which was moved by Finance and Legislative Affairs Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, the repeal of the Acts was intended to undertake further study and consultations to impart more clarity to the policy of decentralisation and an exhaustive explanation to all sections of people.

Making a statement on the issue, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said his government was against committing the historic blunder (of copying the mega city model in seeking to construct a greenfield capital city in Amaravati at a huge cost) which the previous dispensation did with scant regard to the aspirations of people of all regions.

He observed that there were many misgivings on the concept of decentralisation due to the provocation of farmers by opposition parties, mainly the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which also created legal hurdles in the last two years with ulterior motives.

The TDP was to be largely blamed for the mess as it employed all methods to prevent the government from going ahead with three capitals and succeeded in its game plan to some extent, he stated.

The Chief Minister went on to point out that the cost of creating basic infrastructure (roads, electricity and drains) alone in Amaravati as per the TDP government’s estimates would cost a staggering ₹2 crore per acre amounting to ₹1 lakh crore for 50,000 acres. He wondered how a State that was saddled with a massive fiscal deficit and had few resources to fall back upon could afford projects of such magnitude.

Further, he alleged that the TDP government paid no heed to the recommendations of the Srikrishna and Sivaramakrishnan Committees both of which vouched for distributed development.

Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said he was not against the wishes of farmers in Amaravati but he would like them to appreciate the fact that development could not be concentrated here going by previous experiences.

“This place is neither in Vijayawada nor Guntur and transforming it into a world class capital city would cost the government a fortune. After all, the government has to think about the larger interests of the State,” he observed, while insisting that Visakhapatnam could be shaped up into a vibrant executive capital that could compete with metro cities in about 10 years by giving it a little push whereas Amaravati comes at great costs.

Nevertheless, since the people of Amaravati also have certain aspirations, the government decided to make it the legislative capital. The bottomline was that the State should not be obsessed with a ‘super capital’ like Hyderabad which deprives the backward regions of a State of their due share of resources and potential avenues for development. Had the ‘three capitals’ Acts started acquiring tangible shape soon after they came into effect, people would have seen positive results, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy added.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 3:20:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ap-cabinet-decides-to-revoke-three-capitals-acts/article37621452.ece

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