Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Three capitals for Andhra Pradesh
What to study?
For Prelims: The three capitals.
For Mains: Need for, challenges and what’s the way out?
Context: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly has passed The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Equal Development of All Regions Bill, 2020.
This law paves the way for three capitals for the state.
The three capitals:
- Amaravati– legislative capital.
- Visakhapatnam– executive capital.
- Kurnool– judicial capital.
Need for three capitals:
The government says it is against building one mega capital while neglecting other parts of the state. 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.
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.
- Executive capital Visakhapatnam is 700 km from judicial capital Kurnool, and 400 km from legislative capital Amaravati. The Amaravati-Kurnool distance is 370 km. The time and costs of travel will be significant.
- The AP Police are headquartered in Mangalagiri, 14 km from Vijayawada, and senior IPS officers who may be required to visit the Secretariat will have to travel 400 km to Visakhapatnam. Likewise, government officers who may have to appear in the High Court will have to travel 700 km to Kurnool, which does not have an airport.
- All officers and Ministerial staff who may have to be at hand to brief Ministers when the Assembly is in session, will probably have to stay put in Amaravati, leaving behind their other responsibilities in Visakhapatnam.
What are the other examples of multiple capital cities?
Several countries in the world have implemented the concept.
- In Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the official capital and seat of national legislature, while Colombo is the de facto seat of national executive and judicial bodies.
- Malaysia has its official and royal capital and seat of national legislature at Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya is the administrative centre and seat of national judiciary.
Among Indian states:
- 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.
Sources: the Hindu.