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The Three Capital Issue of Andhra Pradesh

Context:  Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has announced that Visakhapatnam will be its new capital.

Timeline of Multiple Capitals

  • In 2014, Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, and Hyderabad was made as its capital.
  • Sivaramakrishnan Committee, appointed in 2014, favoured decentralisation and suggested the Vizag sub-region, as a potential capital space.
  • In 2015, Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Act, 2014 was passed by the State government to make Amaravati as the future capital of the state.

Three Capitals Plan:

  • Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020 provided for three different capitals for the state.
  • Act was based on G.N. Rao Committee report.
    • Amaravati would be the “Legislative Capital”;
    • Visakhapatnam the “Executive Capital”;
    • Kurnool the “Judicial Capital” of the state.
  • In March 2022, the A.P. High Court ordered State government to make Amaravati the State capital. The Supreme Court stayed the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order.

Significance of Different Capitals:

  • Equitable regional development.
  • Spreading economic growth through different and diverse channels.
  • Cover developmental gaps in cities and villages surrounding the capital.

The Three Capital Issue of Andhra Pradesh_4.1

Advantages of three capital States Disadvantages of having three capital states
Many states in India have their judicial power and legislative power different cities. If there are three capital cities there will be the distribution of fruits of development in all regions.

There will be the distribution of work in different cities of the state. It will help in providing more employment for locals and greater productivity.

Reduce Urbanization: It is always better to work in mid-sized cities that have decent economies than primate cities that have huge populations. 

It will protect the religious and cultural value of each region.

Kurnool High Court will help in providing faster aid to the people of Rayalaseema which is one of the backward regions.

The eastern coastal region of India is highly prone to the disaster like cyclones. Having critical executive infrastructure and high density of population in such a region would result in great destruction of life and property.

Coordination of work: Several times the work has to be done in resonance as most of their works are interconnected.

Issue of accessibility: If there is any bill by the secretariat in Vizag which needs to be passed in the legislature in Amravati and further if any conflict arises then it needs to be taken to the High court in Kurnool. This will be time-consuming as well as a wastage of money in travel expenses.

Farmers’ land: The farmers of 29 villages have lent their land to the government, expecting commercial land and building in return. It will now be of no use.

Significance of Vishakhapatnam

  • Jewel of East Coast: Tucked between the Eastern Ghats Mountain range and the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the largest port cities in south India.
  • It is the largest and most populous city in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is also the second largest city on the east coast of India – after Chennai.

Other State with Multiple Capitals

  • Uttar Pradesh considers Prayagraj as the judicial capital and Lucknow as the administrative capital.
  • Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir has two capitals — Srinagar in summers and Jammu in winters.
  • Maharashtra has two capitals — Mumbai and Nagpur — with the latter being the winter capital of the state.
  • Himachal Pradesh has two capitals — Dharamshala and Shimla-with the latter being the summer capital of the state.
  • Tamil Nadu government has proposed the idea of a second capital, with many people demanding that Madurai be given this honour.
  • Though it is not officially announced, Belagavi city is considered as the second capital of Karnataka, after Bengaluru.

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has announced that which will be its new capital?

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has announced that Visakhapatnam will be its new capital.

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