From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Three capitals concept
The Andhra Pradesh CM has hinted that Andhra Pradesh could have three decentralized capitals, on the lines of South Africa.
What is the proposal?
- The new capital being developed at Amaravati could become the “Legislative Capital”, port city Visakhapatnam the “Executive Capital” and Kurnool the “Judicial Capital”.
Three capitals concept in Andhra Pradesh
- Three cities serve as capitals of the country– Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial).
- This arrangement was a result of the Second Boer War (1899-1902) in which Britain annexed the two Afrikaner speaking states -– the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (also called Transvaal Republic).
- Cape of Good Hope then remained in the British Empire, becoming self-governing in 1872, and uniting with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa in 1910.
What are the other examples of multiple capital cities?
- Several countries in the world have implemented the concept.
- In Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the official capital and seat of national legislature, while Colombo is the de facto seat of national executive and judicial bodies.
- Malaysia has its official and royal capital and seat of national legislature at Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya is the administrative centre and seat of national judiciary.
- Among Indian states, Maharashtra has two capitals– Mumbai and Nagpur (which holds the winter session of the state assembly).
- Himachal Pradesh has capitals at Shimla and Dharamshala (winter).
- The former state of Jammu & Kashmir had Srinagar and Jammu (winter) as capitals.
Reasons behind such considerations
- Visakhapatnam was in the radar, as it was felt that it has all the requirements. Vizag always had been the biggest city, after Hyderabad, even in the combined State.
- It has all the settings to become a good living space.
Sri Krishna panel
- The advantages and qualities of Visakhapatnam to become the capital was elaborately deliberated by the Sri Krishna Committee, which was formed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs to study the alternatives for a new capital for the State of Andhra Pradesh.
- Coming to suggestion for the alternative capital, the Committee primarily took up three things for consideration — creation of single city or super city in greenfield location, expanding existing cities and distributed development.
- This idea was elaborately described in the Sri Bagh pact.
- The pact clearly defined decentralisation, for the benefit of all three main regions such as Coastal AP, Godavari and Krishna districts and Rayalaseema.
- According to government records, there is about 10,000 acres of government land.
- Land is not an issue, as the requirement to set up a few new offices and quarters will not exceed 2,000 to 3,000 acres.
- Most of the experts and intellectual are of the opinion that the decision is a win-win situation both for the government and the city.