AP sets in motion multi-capital move, orders shifting of offices

Andhra Pradesh govt issues order to commence plan to have three capitals
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. (Photo: IANS)

Amaravati: Legislative and legal hurdles notwithstanding, the Andhra Pradesh government has set in motion its plan to have three capitals, in the first step ordering relocation of the Office of Vigilance Commissioner and Chairman of Commissionerate of Inquiries to Kurnool that has been proposed as the judicial capital of the state.

State Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney issued an order after midnight on Friday that these offices, along with the offices of the commissioners of inquiries "shall function at Kurnool on administrative grounds."

These offices are currently located at the Interim Government Complex at Velagapudi in Amaravati capital region.

As these offices are quasi-judicial in nature, the government has decided to shift them to Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region.

The Kurnool District Collector and Engineer-in-Chief (Roads and Buildings) have been directed to take necessary steps for identifying suitable buildings for locating the offices of Vigilance Commissioner and Chairman of Commissionerate of Inquiries.

The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government failed to get legislation passed in the Legislature during the recently extended winter session for giving shape to its three capitals idea.

The Council referred the relevant Bill to a select committee for eliciting public opinion on the government's plan.

At the same time, the High Court too said it would hold the government and the officials concerned responsible if any offices were relocated to the proposed new capitals.

The court also asked the state not to shift any of its offices to any other place.

The matter has been posted to February 26 for further hearing, on a batch of writ petitions opposing the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 and the APCRDA (Repeal) Bill.

The ruling YSR Congress failed to get the two bills passed by the Legislative Council last month as they were referred to the select committee at the insistence of the opposition TDP-dominated Upper House.

Following this, the Assembly on January 27 passed a statutory resolution seeking the Council's abolition.

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