Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Three capital cities for Andhra Pradesh

Vice-President of India expressed concerned over the idea of three capital cities for Andhra Pradesh with legislature, executive and judiciary spread over different places.
By IASToppers
December 26, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Government’s stand
  • Problems regarding the formation of Capital
  • Conclusion

Three capital cities for Andhra Pradesh

For IASToppers’ Editorial Simplified Archive, click here

Introduction

Recently, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has announced about having Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as the legislative, executive and judicial capitals respectively. This move raise questions like can a capital city be divided into three or more pieces based on regional considerations.

Three capital cities for Andhra Pradesh 1

Background

  • In 1953, when Telugu-speaking Andhra State was carved out of the composite Madras State, Kurnool was made the capital. In 1956, the erstwhile Hyderabad State was merged with the Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh with Hyderabad as capital.
  • The north-western portion of Andhra Pradesh was separated to form the new state of Telangana on 2nd June 2014. Hyderabad, (longtime capital of Andhra Pradesh) was transferred to Telangana as part of the division. However, in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Hyderabad was to remain the acting capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states for 10 years.

Committee to decide on capital of Andhra Pradesh

  • The Sivaramakrishnan Committee (2014) was constituted by the Central government to suggest choices for the capital of Andhra Pradesh, which did not favor one capital and pitched for decentralised development. However, it never suggested to have more than one capital.
  • Hence, Andhra Pradesh government formed a new committee headed by G.N. Rao, which recently suggested that Andhra Pradesh should have a High Court in Kurnool, with a bench each in Visakhapatnam and Amaravati; and an Assembly in Amaravati, which also conducts a few sessions in Visakhapatnam.

committee headed by G.N. Rao1

Government’s stand

  • Government of Andhra Pradesh mentioned the South Africa’s example which has three capital cities. Government said that gave three capitals are necessary for decentralization of development as the three cities are in three distinct regions of the state.
  • India is based on asymmetric federalism to accommodate diversity not only between states but also within states. Hence, there is a case for some states to consider the possibility of having more than one capital to accommodate the needs of distinct regions.

Problems regarding the formation of Capital in Anhdra Pradesh

  • Centrally located Amaravati city has already Secretariat, Assembly and High Court buildings. Hence, government should not spend public expenditure to capitalize on infrastructure to create states in various cities at an enormous cost.
  • Recently, farmers from Amaravati have written to President and Prime Minister saying that the government’s decision for multiple capital would impact their lives as they had given their fertile lands for development plan of Amaravati as capital city of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. However, now Andhra Pradesh government discard the plan of making Amravati a single capital.

Conclusion

People of Andhra Pradesh have not to wait for more time to realize their right of having a place that could be called a capital.  A three-capital idea has to be done in a balance way without using it to settle political scores. The capital has to form in a way that promote robust growth, investments, tourism and create innumerable jobs.

In nutshell, Formation of the capital of the state has to be done in such a way that all states organs- legislation, executive and judiciary can work easily in a synchronous manner.

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