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Develop Amaravati as State capital, orders High Court
Says AP govt has no right to enact law for 3 capitals
Vijayawada: In a setback to the YSRC government, the AP High Court on Thursday ordered that the Amaravati Masterplan be implemented, and all development activities be continued in the region. Stating that the State government should follow the CRDA Act, the High Court held that "the Legislature has no legislative competence to pass any resolution or law for change of capital or bifurcating or trifurcating the capital city."
A three-member bench of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, also ordered that the government honour the agreement signed with farmers, who parted with their lands for the development of the capital city Amaravati, and take up development activities.
The bench ordered that the government submit an affidavit in six months on the progress of the development works in Amaravati.
Observing that governance was a continuum, the High Court asked the State to "discharge their duties enshrined under Schedule II and III and Land Pooling rules, 2015" and ensure full-scale development of the Amaravati Capital Region as agreed upon by the earlier government.
Describing the litigation as "tussle between poor land owners who sacrificed their livelihood by surrendering their agricultural land in the Land Pooling Scheme for development of capital city and capital region and mighty government which failed to undertake development of infrastructure, capital city and capital region, failed to handover developed reconstituted plots as agreed in the Development Agreement cum-Irrevocable General Power of Attorney."
Hence, the court ordered against alienation and mortgaging or creating any third-party interest on the land pooled, except for the construction of capital city or development of the capital region.
The Bench, also comprising Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice D V S S Somayajulu, said: "Complete the process of development and infrastructure in the Amaravati Capital City and Region providing basic amenities like roads, drinking water, drainage, electricity within one month from the date of this order."
It also directed the government to complete the Town Planning Schemes as per the APCRDA Act and construct and develop the Amaravati Capital city and capital region within six months.
The 317-page order added: "State and APCRDA shall develop the reconstituted plots belonging to land owners in the Amaravati Capital region by providing approach roads, drinking water, electricity connection to each plot, drainage, etc, to enable the same to be fit for habitation in the Amaravati Capital city."
The court maintained that the change in government was not a ground to change the policy. But the present government was under statutory legal obligation to complete the projects undertaken by the earlier government, unless they are contrary to any statutory or constitutional provisions. It also held that the Notified Master Plan could not be modified suo motu.