A.P. to revoke ‘three capitals’ Acts

    0
    283

    In News

    • Recently, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly unanimously passed a Bill to repeal two laws that were cleared to set up three different state capitals.

    About Three- capitals

    • On July 31 the state government notified the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act, 2020.
    • The government had earlier hinted A.P. could have three capitals — 
      • Executive capital in Visakhapatnam,
      • Legislative capital in Amaravati and 
      • Judiciary capital in Kurnool.

     

    Image Courtesy: IE 

    Need for three capitals

    • Three capitals ensure equal development of different regions of the state.
    • Decentralisation has been the central theme in recommendations of all major committees that were set up to suggest a suitable location for the capital of Andhra Pradesh. These include Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, K Sivaramakrishnan Committee, G N Rao Committee etc.

    Reasons for Repealment

    • Protest by people: 
      • Over a hundred petitions challenging the government’s move have been filed before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 
      • Farmers of Amaravati, who let the government acquire their lands, wanted them to stick to the previous plan and build a world-class capital city in the same location. 
    • Plug loopholes:
      • A “better” and more “comprehensive” Bill should be introduced after plugging the loopholes in the previous one. 
    • Better resort available:
      • Choosing Amaravati as the capital was wrong, as it lacked basic infrastructures, such as roads and drainage systems. 
    • Huge Fund Required: 
      • Rs 1 lakh crore was required to build just that, which may escalate to Rs 5 or 6 lakh crore in 10 years.

    Benefits 

    • Promotes Decentralisation: 
      • According to the government, decentralisation was the central theme in recommendations of all major committees that were set up to suggest a suitable location for the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
    • Asymmetric Federalism: 
      • It restores Asymmetric Federalism – accommodates diversity not only between states but also within states.
    • Boost to growth:
      • Three new large cities would boost the growth of the state, having multiple capitals spreads the economic growth in diverse channels by building multiple growth poles.
    • Prevents Migration: 
      • This shall reduce the migration of the people towards one large capital city, instead it may provide three different destinations, making it a viable and sustainable urbanization.

    Disadvantages with 3 Capitals of Andhra Pradesh

    • Huge Financial Costs: 
      • Large amount of funding will be required to develop multiple capitals and to ensure smooth functioning of these capitals.
    • Travel Inconvenience: 
      • The Amaravati-Kurnool distance is 370 km. The time and costs of travel will be significant. 
    • Not Required:
      • The Assembly meets only after gaps of several months, and government Ministers, officers, and staff can simply go to Amaravati when required.
    • Establishing Coordination: 
      • Coordinating between seats of legislature and executive in separate cities will be easier said than done, and with the government offering no specifics of a plan, officers and common people alike fear a logistics nightmare.
    • Disinterested World Agencies:
      • The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) pulled out of the project to fund Amaravati’s development is a lesson to learn from.
      • A single large capital may attract more investors than three small capital cities.
    • Other Problems:
      • It involves issues like land acquisition, which is already a problem in the newly developed capital of Amaravati.
      • The district level imbalance would still exist. (Amaravati in the south coastal AP, Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region.)

    Examples of Multiple Capitals

    • India: 
      • Maharashtra has two capitals– Mumbai and Nagpur (which holds the winter session of the state assembly).
      • Himachal Pradesh has capitals at Shimla and Dharamshala (winter).
      • The former state of Jammu & Kashmir had Srinagar and Jammu (winter) as capitals.
    • Global:
      • In Sri Lanka, 
        • Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the official capital and seat of the national legislature, 
        • Colombo is the de facto seat of national executive and judicial bodies.
      • Republic of South Africa has three capitals:
        • Pretoria, the administrative capital;
        • Cape Town, the legislative capital and
        • Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.
      • In Malaysia:
        • Kuala Lumpur is official and royal capital and seat of national legislature, and
        • Putrajaya is the administrative centre and seat of the national judiciary.

    Conclusion

    • It is still not clear if the government will stick to Amaravati as the sole capital. 
    • There is an urgent need for decentralization for equitable development of all regions.

     Sources: IE + TH