A week after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy declared that Visakhapatnam will be the state capital, authorities have begun arrangements to shift the administrative capital to the port city from Amaravati.
Visakhapatnam district administration is busy identifying suitable buildings including a building for the Chief Minister’s official residence.
Though the district authorities are yet to receive formal orders about shifting of the state capital, the officials were doing the ground work to keep everything ready in advance. The orders are likely to be issued anytime.
A building for the Chief Minister’s official residence is likely to be finalised on Beach Road, a key landmark area in the city. The official circles are abuzz with the talk that if everything goes well, the Chief Minister may perform the house warming ceremony on March 22 or 23.
Officials were also busy identifying buildings for the government offices and residences of the minister and senior IAS and IPS officials.
Addressing a meeting in New Delhi on January 31, Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced that Visakhapatnam will soon become the state capital.
He was addressing a curtain raiser event for the global investors’ summit in Visakhapatnam on March 3 and 4.
“Here I am to invite you to Visakhapatnam, which is going to be our capital, in the days to come. I myself would also be shifting over to Visakhapatnam in the months to come as well,” said Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is currently running the government from Amaravati.
Though several ministers had been speaking about this, it was the first time that the Chief Minister made a categorical statement about shifting the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam.
It was in 2019 that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government mooted the idea of three state capitals with Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital. However, protests by farmers of Amaravati over shifting of the capital and the High Court order directing the government to develop Amaravati as the state capital had delayed the process.
On December 17, 2019 Jagan Mohan Reddy had announced in the state Assembly that three state capitals will be developed reversing the decision of the previous TDP government to develop Amaravati as the state capital.
The YSRCP government mooted Visakhapatnam as administrative capital, Kurnool as judicial capital and Amaravati as legislative capital.
This triggered massive protests by farmers of Amaravati who had given 33,000 acres of land for the capital and the previous government had also undertaken the works on some components of the mega project.
On March 3, 2022, Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the state government to develop Amaravati as the state capital in six months. A bench of three judges had pronounced the judgment on 75 petitions filed by Amaravati farmers and others challenging the government’s move on three capitals.
However, the state government filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. In November last year, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order saying that the court cannot act like a town planner or an engineer.