The Supreme Court on Monday stayed till January 31, 2023, the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s March 3 order that asked the state government to develop within six months Amaravati as the capital city.
The apex court also sought the response of the Centre, Andhra Pradesh government, and Amravati Rajdhani Rythu Parirakshanan Samiti in an appeal filed by the AP government challenging the High Court order to develop Amaravati as the state capital as per the plan of the previous TDP regime.
On March 3, the High Court had directed the state government to develop the proposed capital Amaravati as envisaged under the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act of the previous TDP government, and set a deadline of six months for the same.
Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, adviser (public affairs) to Andhra Pradesh government, welcomed the SC’s order. “We reiterate that YSRCP’s goal is decentralised development. We will also put this matter before the people of Andhra Pradesh and let them decide if decentralisation is the way forward,’’ he said.
The state government had challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court. On Monday, a bench comprising Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna stayed the HC’s directions till the next hearing on January 31.
The YSRCP government had proposed to develop the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, judicial capital at Kurnool, while Amaravati will be the legislative capital. However, several farmers who had given land for the development of the capital city at Amravati filed petitions in the HC under the banner of Rajdhani Rythu Parirakshana Samiti, challenging the state government’s decision.
The HC order had specified that the government should also develop the plots allocated to farmers in lieu of the agricultural land they gave up, and hand it back in three months, and that it must develop infrastructure facilities around the developed plots. The HC court order said other plans too, such as the development of nine theme cities – knowledge city, health city, electronics city, tourism city, justice city, media city, sports city, finance city, and government city at Amaravati – as envisaged under the CRDA should be carried through.