The Hindu Explains: From the Academy awards to Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati

Where does Andhra Pradesh’s new capital lead to?


Work is going on at a brisk pace to complete the roads leading to Andhra Pradesh’s new capital, Amaravati, but the designs for the various buildings, including the Secretariat, are still being finalised. About 33,000 acres of lush agricultural land on the banks of the Krishna, about 12 km to the northwest of Vijayawada, has been earmarked for Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s dream project, estimated to cost ₹3 lakh crore. The foundation was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22, 2015.

Why is it taking so long?

The government is spending about ₹31,615 crore for infrastructure work, setting the stage for the start of construction of permanent facilities in a few months.

Work on government offices is yet to take off as the designs by Foster+Partners and architect Hafeez Contractor are not yet in place. The capital is coming up on 217 sq km.

Apart from arterial and sub-arterial roads that are being built, the other significant projects that have so far been completed are two universities — SRM and Vellore Institute of Technology.

Where does Andhra Pradesh’s new capital lead to?

The government had laid stress on the designs of the Raj Bhavan, the Legislature Complex, the High Court and the Secretariat, which it sent many times for revision, and it is currently under process by Foster+Partners and other consulting firms.

The perspective plan of the capital region, which encompasses 26 mandals in Guntur district and 30 in Krishna districts, has been readied. This includes the blueprints for transportation, tourism and townships.

What are the hurdles?

Preparation of a slew of detailed project reports (DPRs), various procedures involved in mobilising funds from the Central government and other lending agencies, including the World Bank, and awarding projects through international competitive bidding took time. The capital city’s master planning and engineering design took up to two years. Then there is the sheer scale of the project, like the construction of 4,900-odd residential units, nearly 200 bungalows and a maze of roads including those as ambitious as the expressway intended to link the faraway Anantapur to Amaravati. The government faced legal wrangles in the form of public interest litigation petitions against the construction of Amaravati at the chosen location and in the selection of the master developer.

What about funding?

The State government has received ₹2,500 crore from the Central government and is likely to get more funds. The World Bank had come forward to lend $1 billion for road infrastructure in the capital region, and 10 priority roads are poised for completion at the end of this year.

When will it be ready?

The construction of the iconic government buildings is likely to begin in a few months, and the laying of the first floor of residential quarters for government employees later this month.

Tenders have been just called for building another bridge across river Krishna from Ibrahimpatnam in Krishna district to Amaravati. Already 10,000 plots given to the farmers under the land pooling scheme, which began on January 1, 2015, have been registered and 200-300 are getting registered every day.

The Chief Minister has instructed officials to ground the core capital soon, having finished much of the planning and tied up funds.

Nevertheless, considering the magnitude of the task, it is going to take at least two years, if not more, to transform the entire capital region into a world-class city.

The State government is now functioning from the Interim Government Complex built at Velagapudi nearby. Situated nearby are the temporary Assembly and Council halls under a single roof.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:11:57 PM |

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