Clearing the legislative hurdle to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's plan for three capitals for Andhra Pradesh, Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan on Friday gave his assent to the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2020.
Although the two Bills will now formally become law following the Governor's assent, the government will have to clear legal hurdles before it can finally make its three-capital plan a reality.
The issue is now pending before the AP High Court.
The two Bills were passed only by the Legislative Assembly twice, first on January 20 and the next on June 16 and
were not cleared by the Legislative Council.
The Council Chairman, using his discretionary powers, referred the two Bills to Select Committees for wider examinations but the Committees itself were not constituted all these months.
But the government sent the Bills to the Governor for his assent under Article 197 (1) and (2) of the Constitution and, after wide-ranging legal consultations, he gave his assent to the new legislation, said official sources.
The Reddy government brought in the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, to give shape to its plan of having three capitals for the state, with the executive capital in Visakhapatnam, Legislative capital in Amaravati and judicial capital in Kurnool. It also provides for dividing the state into various zones and establishing zonal planning and development boards.
The village and (municipal) ward secretariats system that the government brought in last October now gets statutory backing as it has been made part of the new legislation.
The other legislation is intended to repeal the AP Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014.
The CRDA Act was enacted on December 22, 2014 for the development of the state capital post-bifurcation with a specific area demarcated as the capital region. Now that the YSR Congress government decided to have three capitals for the state, the CRDA Act is being repealed.
The government now intends to constitute a new Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Area under the provisions of AP Metropolitan Region and Urban Development Authorities Act, 2016.