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Amaravati earns Smart City tag; fourth in State

Centre takes it up as a ‘special case’ in the third round

The development of Amaravati, the Capital of Andhra Pradesh into a world-class city received a big boost with the Centre selecting it as a Smart City.

It is one of the 30 Smart Cities announced by the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) under the Smart City Mission on Friday in addition to the 60 identified earlier.

Amaravati is the fourth smart city in A.P., the other three being Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.

Six components

What has clinched the deal for Amaravati was the six components in its proposal — micro-climate management, urban mobility, activity centres, smart utilities, improved governance measures and the blue-green vision.

Speaking to The Hindu , Principal Secretary (Energy, CRDA and Infrastructure and Investment) Ajay Jain said the Amaravati Smart City proposal was moved as a special case and the Central government was of the view that building a smart city from scratch was easier compared to retrofitting the existing ones.

The green building, smart electricity grid and various other initiatives taken in the State have apparently tilted the scales in Amaravati’s favour, he observed.

According to official sources, Amaravati was included in the list of cities eligible for participation in the Smart City Mission scheme at the time of the 2nd round of submission of proposals itself but it missed the opportunity narrowly due to the greenfield nature of the project.

Revised proposal

A revised proposal was presented by the A.P. Capital Region Development Authority (AP-CRDA) to MoUD with the estimated overall project cost pegged at about Rs. 1,875 crore, including a combined (Central and State) grant of Rs. 1,000 crore, on March 31, 2017.

Minister for Municipal Administration P. Narayana told media persons that the stage has been set for the transformation of Amaravati into one of the world’s top five Smart Cities.

In addition to the funding by the Central and the State governments, another Rs. 500 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore is proposed to be raised through public-private partnerships.

“People’s precinct”

Amaravati will now be developed into a Smart City starting with a 650-acre extent titled the ‘People’s precinct’ adjacent to the Government Complex in a mixed-used model in line with the best practices being adopted from Foster + Partners (F+P) which is drawing the designs for the Core Government Complex.

The government planned to replicate the concept across the Capital region once the proof of physical and financial sustainability of the development of ‘People’s precinct’ is demonstrated.

D. Ramakrishna, Managing Director of Vijayawada-based Efftronics Systems Private Limited, said being a city under development, Amaravati has tremendous scope for optimising the technologies.

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