HYDERABAD: In a setback to the AP government, the high court on Thursday suspended a government order issued by its municipal administration department that banned the approval of fresh layout plans for construction of buildings in the capital region spread over both Krishna and Guntur districts.
In its order issued on September 17 this year, the AP government had directed the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTMUDA) not to approve any building plans till the government comes out with a master plan for the capital region.
Justice M S Ramachandra Rao suspended the GO as an interim measure while hearing a plea by Sree Chaitanya Constructions of Hyderabad which sought the court's intervention on the grounds that the residents of the said urban development authority region were unable to take up constructions because of the government order.
"We do not know when the state will come out with its so-called master plan. In the meantime, all works are stalled," Ravi Shankar Jandhyala, counsel for the petitioner, told the court and cited the denial of permission for his client taking up construction in a 16-acre area in Sunkollu village near Nuzvedu in Krishna district.
Pointing out that the state is blocking the development in two districts when its own capital region is spread in 29 villages located in just two mandals of Guntur district, Ravi Shankar said that though the state is claiming that it has derived its power from the AP Urban Areas Development Act, 1975, it has conveniently forgotten the fact that this Act is applicable only to existing master plans and definitely not to those that are 'under contemplation'.
In fact, Sunkollu village, which is 74 kilometers away from the proposed capital region, does not even fall under the existing master plan, he added and urged the court to declare the action of the government as illegal.
When Justice Ramachandra Rao said he would order an interim suspension of the government order, the government counsel requested him to pass over the matter to the afternoon session for enabling the AP advocate general to put forward the state's case.
In the afternoon session, the AG came to the court but did not present his arguments. Instead, the state's counsel contended that since the petitioner argued only against the government order and not against the action of the urban development authority, he was not entitled for any relief.
The judge made it clear that since the local authorities were citing the government order, the suspension of the latter would meet the ends of justice for now.
He then admitted the plea and after issuing notices to the authorities, adjourned the case.