Amaravati, a futuristic world-class city in making: AP govt

Amaravati

Amaravati, the capital of the truncated Andhra Pradesh, is planned to be developed as a “futuristic” world-class city with expertise from Japan and Singapore, and the cost of building it could be in excess of USD two billion, say officials.

The idea is to promote the project on public-private-partnership model. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone for the new capital at Uddandarayunipalem village in Guntur district.

Singapore government today said it is willing to provide training to Andhra Pradesh government officials in capacity building and urban development aspects to develop Amaravati as the most liveable city.

“The Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) will also help AP develop its institutional capacity in urban governance and related areas through training programmes for AP officials responsible for the development of the capital city.

“International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is the government agency coordinating efforts across Singapore’s public and private sectors for the master plan,” an official of Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, told PTI in email response.

IE Singapore had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra Pradesh to jointly prepare master plan for the new capital.

The MOU covered the master planning of Amaravati and capacity development for AP officials. The IE has submitted three master plans — the Capital Region Plan, Capital City Master Plan and Seed Development Master Plan.

Japan and Andhra Pradesh today also signed an MoU to promote investments by Japanese companies in the state.

“Japan has come forward to work with us in diverse sectors such as urban development, port development, agriculture technology and super critical power,” Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said.

The construction of new capital involves outlay of more than USD two billion as per the master plan, a senior state government official said.

Meanwhile, the cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh government, saddled with a deficit of Rs 16,000 crore post-bifurcation, is in the process of appointing master developer for Amaravati in through `Swiss Challenge’ method.

Under the Swiss Challenge, a developer will be asked to presents a bid. Then other prospective developers would also be asked to present counter bids. If the latter is lower, the first bidder will be asked to submit another bid. If the first bidder comes up with lower bid, then he gets the right, otherwise the one with lower bid gets the project.

“The Centre would help in raising essential administrative buildings like legislature, while Master Developer would pitch in for development of the capital city,” said Advisor (Communications) to Andhra Pradesh government Parakala Prabhakar. The government would like to build a futuristic city, he added.

Amaravati, which means the town that lives forever, was the seat of power of Satavahana rulers and the name has been chosen in view of its historical, spiritual and mythological significance, officials said.

The name may also strike a chord in the South East Asian countries where Buddhism is prevalent.

“It will largely be a PPP arrangement except those buildings which are going to be built with the help of the Union Government like the legislature… The Union Government is bound to provide these according to the (Andhra Pradesh) Re-organisation act,” Prabhakar said.

The government has “pooled” more than 33,000 acres of land from farmers and other land owners in Guntur and Krishna districts as per its “land pooling scheme”, offering them benefits like share in developed land.

“As per the international standards it requires about USD 2 billion for the capital region construction. It spreads over about 80 km,” an official said.

Attendance of VIPs, cultural events mark AP capital ceremony

Amaravati

The foundation stone laying ceremony of Andhra Pradesh’s capital city Amaravati, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a galaxy of prominent personalities today, was a grand function which saw a number of events that blended tradition and modernity.

The event saw the participation of Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, Nirmala Sitharaman and Y S Chowdary, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Singapore minister Iswaran, Japan minister Yasuke Takagi, Supreme Court judge N V Ramana, Acting Chief Justice of Hyderabad High Court Dilip Bhosle.

Eminent personalities from diverse fields, like media baron Ramoji Rao, industrialists including GMR Group Head G M Rao, Apollo Group’s Prathap C Reddy, GVK Group’s GV Sanjay Reddy and badminton chief national coach Pullela Gopichand were also present on the occasion.

Expressing gratitude to farmers and other land owners who gave their land for construction of the capital, a traditional dance ballet ‘Rytuku Vandanam’ (salutations to farmer) was performed on the occasion.

The state government has “pooled” about 33,000 acres of land from farmers and others for development of the capital.

Those attending the event were provided with traditional Andhra delicacies like ‘pulihora’ (yellow and lemon rice), ‘chakra pongali’, ‘boorelu’ (a sweet) and ‘garelu’ (vada) as the event coincided with the ‘Vijaya Dasami’ festival.

Conch shells were blown on the occasion as a mark of good tidings for the capital city.

Prominent percussionist Sivamani, who is also famous for his performances in south Indian films, presented a performance, which enthralled the visitors ahead of the arrival of the Prime Minister and other dignitaries.

A ‘Kuchipudi’ show, the traditional dance form which originated in Kuchipudi village near Vijayawada, was performed on the occasion.

Several members of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s family and other relatives were in attendance. Naidu’s brother-in-law and MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is a leading hero in Telugu films, drew loud cheers as he made an appearance before the public.

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