Singapore officials handed over the first of three masterplans for the new capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh yesterday.
The blueprint for the 7,235 sq km capital region was delivered just 3½ months after Singapore and Andhra Pradesh signed an agreement to create a masterplan of, and develop the city for, India's eighth-largest state by size.
The masterplans are being designed by Singapore companies Surbana International Consultants and Jurong Consultants, working with Andhra Pradesh officials.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu told a business seminar here yesterday that the blueprint's delivery reflected Singapore's reputation for efficiency and timely delivery, and helped move the project to an "advanced state".
"In collaboration with Singapore, we are confident we are building a world-class city in India," he said.
Andhra Pradesh needs to build a new capital after India's 29th state, Telangana, was carved out from its territory last year.
The current capital, Hyderabad, a city of high-tech industries with companies including Google and Microsoft, will be shared by the two states for the next 10 years although it is geographically within Telangana.
The as-yet-unnamed capital city will be built on swathes of farming and non-farm land in the Guntur-Vijayawada region, roughly two hours by plane from New Delhi.
The capital will be constructed in a unique collaboration between Singapore and the self-styled "Sunrise State", which has a population of 49 million people and contributes 5 per cent to India's gross domestic product.
The phase one masterplan, among other things, identifies long-term economic positioning of the existing towns and cities within the capital region, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran.
A second-stage plan will consist of a 220 sq km capital city.
The third phase will be a "seed development" plan for an 8 sq km to 10 sq km project, where the first parts of the capital will be constructed and populated.
The Andhra Pradesh government has started to acquire land from around 10,000 land owners.
Land acquisition is often the most difficult part of big infrastructure projects in India and the state's swift move underscores the urgency with which it is treating the project.
Mr Naidu said he has gathered 13,355 ha in a "land pooling" exercise, a process by which land owners exchange their agriculture land for land in the new city as part of their compensation.
Mr Naidu and Mr Iswaran yesterday chaired a high-level committee meeting on the project.
This article was first published on March 31, 2015.
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