Jagan to close the chapter of captial ‘Amaravati’ in the next assembly?

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is all set to repeal for the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act 2014 in the next assembly session. This will close the chapter of Capital ‘Amaravati’ once for all.

Despite the disturbances in villages in the capital region, the government is said to have decided to move the bill which among other things envisaged to restore the ownership rights of all farmers, who surrendered lands under the land-pooling scheme which was introduced for the construction of Amaravati capital.

The Land Pooling Scheme touted as the largest exercise of its kind in India, helped the then government to secure about 33,700 acres from as many as 25,000 farmers in sixty days for capital building. The then government promised, in return, residential and commercial plots in a developed layout in addition to monetary (annuity, crop compensation, and loan waiver), and social benefits.

The CRDA Act which came into force on December 31st 2014 was meant to build a ‘Greenfield capital on the banks of River Krishna’ in Guntur district.To please the farmers, who are disappointed by the proposed shifting of the capital from Amaravati to Vizag, it is learned, the Jagan’s government will continue disbursing the annuity for beneficiaries of the scheme for another three years. Many more benefits promised under the LP scheme will continue.

The CRDA repeal bill will also invalidate the master plan of Amaravati notified under CRDA Act, and a new master plan will be announced keeping in view the changed scenario. Armed with recommendations of two expert committees, Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s government, which finds the building of a global city as an impracticable idea, has sought to decentralize the capital into three entities. While Amaravati will remain as Legislative capital, Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is chosen as the seat administration. The Kurnool town in Andhra Pradesh is tipped as the judicial capital.

“To decentralize the capital, the original capital region Act needs to be repealed, and arrangements are to be put in place to take care of the loans availed for the construction of Amaravati. The government has to take steps to protect the interest of the farmers who surrendered lands under the land pooling scheme. Relocation arrangements are to made for the employees working in CRDA,” sources in the government told Newsmeter.

Another important aspect of the bill, according to sources, is the revival of the VGTM UDA (Vijayawada Guntur, Tenali and Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority). The VGTM UDA got dissolved following the passage of CRDA Act. The Assembly is expected to be convened for three days from January 20. A notification to this effect is awaited.

Once the bill is made into law, all the rules, notifications and government orders issued under the CRDA Act will cease to exist in effect. The new VGTM Urban Development Authority, which will be reconstituted under the Metropolitan Region and Urban Development Authorities Act, 2016, will take over whatever remains of the CRDA Act. As per proposed the repeal bill, all the loans availed for Amaravati will be transferred to VGTM UDA and the government of Andhra Pradesh will act as a guarantor of all the credits.

All the employees now working in the CRDA will also be transferred to VGTM UDA or other local bodies in the state or any other government department or agency.

Jinka Nagaraju

Jinka Nagaraju is a Hyderabad based journalist. He covered the entire spectrum of political activities of Telugu states from Hyderabad and New Delhi for about 3 decades. He represented Vaartha in New Delhi during the most happening decade of 1996-2006. He was political correspondent of Times of India from Hyderabad for 10 years. He was editor of Asianet’s Telugu digital platform. He contributed to many digital media outlets such as Al Jazeera, News 18, Newsable, South Post, The Lede ,Down to Earth etc. He is known for his Anthropological approach in the news analysis. He studied Physical Anthropology and prehistoric archaeology with Human population genetics as specialization, and his area of interest is Political Anthropology and Media Anthropology.

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