Andhra Pradesh

Central Vista architect may be used by A.P. for tri-city spread

Padma Shri awardee Bimal Patel. File | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G
Nistula Hebbar Mahesh Langa NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD 19 October 2021 19:15 IST
Updated: 19 October 2021 21:00 IST

Company’s experience in public buildings commendable: source

The Andhra Pradesh government is likely to rope in the architect of the Central Vista in New Delhi, Bimal Patel, for its tri-city spread of government offices and Assembly buildings, with the executive branch being settled in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

“The Andhra Pradesh government plans to shift its executive wing, including the Chief Minister’s Office etc to Visakhapatnam. There is a court case with regard to some plans that need to be sorted out but the tri-city plans are still on,” said a senior State official. The land acquired in Amaravati would be used to set up Assembly buildings and the Andhra Pradesh High Court would come up in Kurnool.

Also read: Whatever is built must reinforce the character Lutyens imagined: Bimal Pate

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“The Andhra Pradesh government has shortlisted Bimal Patel’s firm for the project, as the company’s experience in public buildings is commendable,” said the source.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Patel observed that “as of now, we are doing a guest house project for the government of Andhra Pradesh". Government officials in Andhra Pradesh said court cases needed to be settled before anything could go ahead formally.

Mr. Patel, a leading architect especially in the space of public buildings and projects, is the man behind the Central Vista project redrawing the Parliament building and much of office space of the Central ministries. He had designed the Ahmedabad riverfront project, and is currently involved in the redevelopment of Sabarmati Ashram, which was established by Mahatma Gandhi.

Jagan Mohan’s election

The capital of Andhra Pradesh had earlier been finalised as Amaravati and extensive land acquisition via land pooling had taken place. The election of Jagan Mohan Reddy as Chief Minister in 2019, however, led to a change of plans and a slew of legal challenges and counter challenges, including one on the new government’s plans to divide the capital into three areas.

On the question of why Visakhapatnam was chosen by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government as the site of a new capital, a senior YSRCP leader said the city had “both an airport and a seaport, offices of major Public Sector Undertakings and a potential to become a metropolis.”

With many brakes with regard to the formation of a capital ever since the split of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, it is being hoped that finalising a design vision may make the prospects of a new capital coming into being more real.

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