HC allows AP govt to allocate house sites to poor in Amaravati
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan
Vijayawada: In a major relief to the state government, the AP High Court on Friday permitted it to allocate house sites to the poor by setting up a separate R-5 zone in Amaravati.
This, however, is subject to the final verdict from the court in the case it is currently hearing. The court dismissed the interlocutory applications filed by the farmers seeking to stall the move.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice Ravinath Tilhari noted in its order that the petitioners were not having any direct involvement in the area meant for allotment of house sites to the economically weaker sections and the poor.
"As it is the area reserved for the electronic city, the issue is whether the nine cities would remain intact for development of the capital. A case on this is pending before the Supreme Court. The petitioners do not have right for allotment of developed plots in the area earmarked for the electronic city and they would not be directly affected if the allotment is done," the high court said.
Additional advocate general appearing for the AP government and Kasa Jagan Mohan Reddy for APCRDA, submitted that no zone for EWS was created in the Master Plan of the Capital City despite it being a statutory mandate as per relevant provisions of the APCRDA Act and also under AP Capital City Land Pooling Scheme Rules, 2015. The state government amended the Master Plan to create the R-5 zone, reserving land for allotment to EWS families."
The additional advocate general submitted that there was no statutory bar for modifications in the Master Plan and also for issuance of GO-45 dated 31-03-2023. He said there was no ground for staying the operation of the impugned GO so that the state government could go ahead to allot lands to members of the EWS and also those living below poverty line.
The AG argued that the state government issued the impugned GO in compliance of the said mandamus issued by the court in the full-bench judgment. He submitted that the court permitted construction of the capital city or development of the capital region as one of the activities. "The same having not been stayed by the Supreme Court, it is the duty of the state government to develop the capital city by providing house sites to the poor."
However, petitioners’ counsels led by Devadatt Kamat submitted that GO-45 allowed handover of 1,134.58 acres land to the district collectors of Guntur and NTR districts, out of the area earmarked for development of the electronic city without realising that it would affect the very heart and soul of the capital area development.
Kamat argued for setting aside of the impugned GO by saying the impugned notification and GO, if given effect, would cause one-third of area earmarked for the electronic city to be lost, violating the ‘nine cities’ concept including the electronic city, a core feature of the Amaravati Master Plan.
Earlier, farmers from Amaravati filed petitions in the high court questioning the validity of GO – 45, claiming the present government’s action to be arbitrary and illegal and ultra vires of AP CRDA Act, 2014. They also challenged the gazette notification 337 dealing with changes made to the detailed Master Plan of Capital City, Amaravati.