Amaravati back as capital - for now

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy
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Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy

Highlights

  • Government repeals 3 capital law to come back with modified Bill
  • The government takes back the Bill for it failed to convince about 2 per cent of the populace
  • Opposition says it's not time for celebrations

Amaravati: The YSRCP government in a strategic move announced the repeal of the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act on Monday, but clearly stated that it is just an interval and they would come back to the House with a modified bill minus the legal and other objections.

The State Government took the decision to repeal the bill after an emergency cabinet meeting at a time when the government arguments in the High Court on the issue were to begin. The Advocate General informed the court of the developments and later filed a memo in the afternoon to the effect.

Later, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy explained how it was not possible to develop Amaravati because of the huge financial implications involved in it and since his government was committed to overall development of all regions, the government would come back with a modified bill. He said the government was taking back the bill because it failed to convince about 2 per cent of the people and the hurdles created by the opposition.

The opposition, however, claims that this was not the time for celebrations and need to keep a close watch, though Monday's decision was a victory for the farmers.

Earlier, the Chief Minister said that he is not against the Amaravati region and his house was also situated in the Amaravati region. He said the capital is not nearer either to Vijayawada or Guntur and one has to travel nearly 40 km to reach the cities. He said as per the previous government's estimates it will cost nearly Rs 1 lakh crore to provide basic infrastructure and if it was delayed the amount will be multiplied to Rs 6 lakh crore or Rs 7 lakh crore. He said the previous government had taken up campaign on imaginary lines. Even now youth are forced to migrate to Hyderabad, Bengaluru or Chennai in search of employment.

The Chief Minister said Visakhapatnam was the biggest city with all infrastructure. If the government provides some value addition to the infrastructure, it will be developed on par with other cities and hence it has proposed a three-capital system. He said people had given massive support to the State Government in all the elections since 2019 as they accepted the three-capital proposal. Earlier, Minister for Finance Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said the State Government explained how it was committed to the development of all the regions in the State.

He said that the government proposed the three-capital idea based on the recommendations of the Sri Krishna committee and Sivaramakrishna committee to prevent concentration of development at one place.

He said the agitation for separate Telangana evolved because of the concentrated development in Hyderabad ignoring all other regions of the undivided Andhra Pradesh. Before taking a decision on three capitals, he said the State Government appointed an expert committee with Prof Mahaveer, Delhi School of Architecture, Prof Anjali Mohan, Sivananada Swami, Ahmedabad, KT Ravindranath, Delhi School of Planning and KV Arunachalam, Chennai. Later, Boston consulting group gave a report that Rs 1 lakh crore would be required to provide basic infrastructure. He said the government appointed a high power committee of ministers before announcing the three-capital system.

CRDA restored

As a consequence of the repeal of the bill to have three capitals for Andhra Pradesh, the State Government introduced a bill to restore the abolished Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA).

Finance Minister Bugganna Rajendranath Reddy on Monday announced that the State Government was abolishing the Metropolitan Region Development Authority. In the bill the State Government had said that it was transferring the assets and employees of the Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) to CRDA following the restoration of the Act. The minister said that there was a need to undertake an in-depth study on the decentralisation of the state capitals' bill. He said that the CRDA Act would come into force with immediate effect.

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