HC asks details on cost of Amaravati construction

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday sought complete details on the estimated cost of construction of the capital city in Amaravati and how much public money was spent so far.

Hearing a batch of petitions, a three-bench judge comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar, Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice A V Sesha Sai asked advocate Unnam Muralidhar to submit the details over capital construction in Amaravati. The court served notices to the State Accountant General asking him to submit a detailed report on the source of the funds. The case was posted for the next hearing on August 14.

On his part, Unnam Muralidhar submitted before the court that so far Rs 52,000 crore had been spent as per the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) records. The High Court advocate stated that more than Rs 52,000 crore was spent on infrastructure, government buildings, water, power supply and other works.

The High Court expressed deep concern over the money that had so far been spent on construction of the capital in Amaravati. The High Court asked a volley of questions such as how many buildings were completed, how much money was spent and the outstanding amount to be paid to the contractors. The court asked the government to submit complete details.

During the TDP regime, former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had built buildings for Assembly, Secretariat, High Court and Raj Bhavan. A major part of MLA and MLC quarters was completed. Nearly Rs 9,000 crore was spent on all the works.

The High Court seeing details on money spent on construction of Amaravati comes after it had directed the state government to maintain status quo on the state capital. The order bars the state government from taking any steps on the two controversial Bills – Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill, 2020 and the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 – approved by the Governor for trifurcation of the capital. The court adjourned the hearing till August 14 after the state government sought 10 days time to file a counter to the petitions.

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