SC refuses to hear PIL for a new Capital City of AP

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Andhra Pradesh residents with P Srimannarayana and others had applied for PIL and raised many questions along with their lawyer, Prashant Bhushan requesting for developing a new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Supreme Court on Friday 20 March, 2015 heard the matter and has declined to entertain such a PIL by questioning the development of a new capital city of Andhra Pradesh on southern side of river Krishna near Vijayawada without environment clearances. Vijayawada has been for a long time called the political capital of Andhra Pradesh. It has been a commercial hub in the Krishna district as a result of existence of Krishna river. In the last few months because of the speculations about the capital being located here, the realty prices has skyrocketed in and around Vijayawada.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice H L  Dattu and Justices M Y Eqbal and Arun Mishra said “Only at the time of construction activities, environment clearances are required and not before that”. The bench also observed that “For developing a new capital city, there will be some or the other problem. Here it is about acquiring 30,000 hectares of land. All sorts of problems will be there. Can the Supreme Court say that the capital city will be in this part or that part?” When the bench said “It is very difficult for us (to pass direction),”Bhushan sought to withdraw the petition with liberty to approach National Green Tribunal.

Bench allowed the withdrawal of the Public Interest Litigation and said that the petitioners are at liberty to approach an appropriate forum.

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Public Interest Litigation that was submitted by Andhra Pradesh residents raised many questions and it contended that a super city cannot be developed without environment impact assessment and it actually involved 7000 square kilometres of area.

New capital city will be developed under Capital Region Development Authority.  New capital city of Andhra Pradesh is proposed in Guntur District, north of Guntur.

According to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Hyderabad will be the capital to both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for 10 years.

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by Sushma Javare.