Chandrababu Naidu's grand plan for Amaravati looks like a daunting task

Andhra Pradesh CM has raised hopes way beyond expectations to turn the state capital into a global city.

 |  3-minute read |   21-04-2017
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Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu finds building the state capital Amaravati a daunting task. But there is no let up on his audacious goal to develop it to global standards. He wants it to surpass the relatively better planned capital cities of Chandigarh, Gandhinagar and Naya Raipur.

The grand plan is to include an iconic bridge on the Krishna and develop eight islands, in the vicinity of Amaravati, as tourists spots. He said that the roads leading to the secretariat should be developed to meet international standards and greenery should be developed on both sides of the roads.

The Smriti Vanam to come up at Inavolu, which will have a 125-ft tall statue of Dr BR Ambedkar is to be the face of the capital. The statue is to be part of a wooded area which is coming up in a sprawling 20 acres between Inavolu and Sakhamuru at a cost of Rs 97.64 crore.

“Whoever visits Amaravati in the future, will seek his blessings and gain strength from him,” declared Naidu while laying the foundation stone for the statue on April 14, in the administrative city. Taking stock at a meeting of the AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), on the eve of his 68th birthday on April 20, Naidu asked officials to step up work on the administrative city promising to review the progress of work in the third week of every month.

bd_042117102315.jpgThe statue is to be part of a wooded area which is coming up in a sprawling 20 acres between Inavolu and Sakhamuru at a cost of Rs 97.64 crore.

UK-based architecture firm Norman Foster and Partners is to finalise designs for the core government buildings and present it to the government by May 10. The chief minister has directed officials to ensure that the offices, from the level of heads of departments to the lower rung staff, are located at the same place in the administrative city but in distinct blocks to avoid confusion for those visiting the government complex for various purposes.

While the secretariat building will have around 9.22 lakh sq ft offices of heads of departments, it will have a built up area of 29.66 lakh sq ft. Naidu has, in a widely appreciated move, assured that the government will seek public opinion through social media. Yet, officials say setting up a dedicated multi-disciplinary peer review panel of experts for the capital complex and a framework of rigorous and scientific evaluation of designs by a committee of experts would benefit the massive project.

Officials point out that the government may need to think through the very make up and design of this peer review panel which could have an annexe of sorts that could oversee the construction process of prestigious structures along with relevant departments in the government after the designs are finalised.

Farmers in the capital region who had parted with their lands under the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) are now reluctant to register their plots. This is because of the delay by the APCRDA in returning the developed commercial and residential plots as agreed under the LPS. Though the work began about 10 months ago, the farmers are sore that landscaping and developing of infrastructure such as roads, underground drainage, sewage, electricity and other facilities as promised by the government is yet to be done.

Officials argue that it will take another six months. But the farmers are not impressed. Now, in a fresh order, on April 19, to avoid legal hassles in acquisition of land for the capital city, the government negotiated settlement policy with landowners in areas which are not within the ambit of the LPS.

Naidu has raised hopes way beyond normal expectations and if he does not deliver convincingly in developing Amaravati substantially, before the 2019 summer polls, it will prove costly for him across the state.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Also read: Naidu’s ministry reshuffle shows identity politics can't be wished away


Amarnath K Menon Amarnath K Menon @amarnathkmenon

The writer is Hyderabad-based and senior editor, India Today.

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