Foster+Partners filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking arbitration proceedings against the Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) under Section 11 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 to recover a portion of the payments due to it for preparing capital city designs during the TDP regime.
The London-based firm took to legal recourse against the AMRDA (now AP-Capital Region Development Authority) last week after the notices which it served previously evoked no response.
On Thursday, a Division Bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justice Krishna Murari reportedly directed the AMRDA to respond to the dispute raised by the British firm against the non-payment of its dues since the year 2019. They instructed the Supreme Court registry to post the matter before another Bench on a later date due to the impending retirement of the Chief Justice on August 26.
It may be recalled that Foster+Partners designed the masterplan for the new government complex and the project mainly included the planning of two key buildings, the Legislature Complex and the High Court, along with the offices of Secretaries and Heads of Departments (HoDs) in Amaravati city that was to be developed in a 217 square kilometre area.
The development of Amaravati came to a standstill after the YSR Congress Party came to power in June 2019 due to an abrupt change in its priorities with regard to the capital.
The government wanted to trifurcate the capital leaving the Legislature Complex in Amaravati and shifting the CMO and the Secretariat to Visakhapatnam and the High Court to Kurnool. The issue has since been contested in courts by a large number of farmers who have given their lands under the pooling scheme.