In news– Recently, Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered that the Amaravati Master Plan be implemented and all development activities be continued in the region, in a blow to the State government’s plans to have three capitals.
More information on the issue-
- A three-member division bench of the High Court 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 high court has made it clear that the state assembly has no jurisdiction to enact laws over the capital city.
- The bench ordered that the government submit an affidavit in six months on the progress of the development works in Amaravati.
About tri-capital plan-
- The tri-capital plan of the state government involves setting up executive, legislative and judicial capitals at Visakhapatnam, Amaravati and Kurnool respectively.
- The state lost capital after bifurcation, and development went on backfoot, keeping that in mind, the Chief Minister appointed three committees, all of which suggested decentralization as the only solution.
- The Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act and the Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Act was passed for development of the state capital post bifurcation with a specific area demarcated as the capital region.
- The then government acquired 34,000 acres of land through APCRDA under a land pooling scheme for establishing the capital at Amaravati.
- Kurnool was the first capital of Andhra state when it was separated from the then Tamilnadu and is considered as the best place to be the judicial capital.
- The state assembly proceedings were planned to happen in Amaravati and the high court to be located in Kurnool.
- The offices of the Chief Minister and Governor were planned for Visakhapatnam.
- Opposition has called the Governor’s decision on the three-capital plan a historic blunder.
- They further asserted that the proposal of three capitals and repeal of APCRDA were in violation of the AP Reorganization Act, 2014, which envisaged only one capital.
States/UTs with more than one capital cities-
- Maharashtra has two capitals — Mumbai and Nagpur — with the latter being the winter capital of the state.
- The Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir, also has two capitals — Srinagar in summers and Jammu in winters.
- Himachal Pradesh, the hilly state is another one that has two capitals — Dharamshala and Shimla (Summer).
- Uttarakhand: The state is divided into two divisions, Garhwal and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts. The winter capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the largest city of the state. Gairsain/Bhararisain, a town in Chamoli district, is the summer capital of Uttarakhand.
Other states with similar proposal-
- Tamil Nadu: With its present capital Chennai, the government has proposed the idea of a second capital, with many people clamoring for Madurai or Tiruchirappalli to be given this honor.
- Karnataka: Current capital-Bengaluru, but it also conducts winter sessions in Belagavi (not announced officially).
Two states having one capital-
Chandigarh: The capital of Punjab is Chandigarh, which also serves as the capital of Haryana and is thus administered separately as a Union Territory of India. The judicial branch of the state government is provided by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.