The Andhra Pradesh state government has been inclined towards decentralising administration in the state. In the latest, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Biswabhusan Harichandan approved the three capitals bill on Friday. The AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, has passed a crucial stage with the Governor’s assent.
Previously, the Assembly Secretariat submitted the AP Decentralisation And Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2020 for his assent. The first bill addresses decentralisation of administration in Andhra Pradesh. The subsequent steps for the bill include establishing Vishakhapatnam as the executive capital, Amaravati as the legislative capital and Kurnool as the judicial capital of the state. Both bills were submitted to the Governor’s office on 18 July 2020.
The issue is now pending before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The HC on 23 July 2020 adjourned the hearing of a petition against the reintroduction of the bills to August 2020. The Legislative Assembly passed both bills first on 20 January 2020 and next on 16 June 2020.
Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan in his address to the legislative assembly and legislative council said that the state government is committed to the decentralisation of the AP capital. He said that the move would ensure equal development in Andhra Pradesh. He announced that the legal process in setting up of the three capitals in Andhra Pradesh is underway. Stating that the state government has fulfilled forty promises that didn’t originally feature in the party manifesto, Governor Harichandan said that the government will develop executive capital at Visakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati and judicial capital at Kurnool. A fund of Rs. 500 crore was allocated to developing infrastructure in Vizag for the same.
In his address, the Governor elaborated on Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s vision for the state. He said that Mr Reddy called for the AP capital decentralisation in order to support equal development in all regions, instead of focussing on one region only. With the AP cabinet and state legislature already approving the Decentralisation and Equal Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 the state secretariat will be set up at Visakhapatnam and High Court, at Kurnool. In his previous addresses, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that developing the state’s capital from scratch in Amaravati would prove expensive to the state. With the existing financial conditions, it would be more feasible to choose Vizag as the capital.