Unveiled: Plan for Andhra Pradesh's capital

SINGAPORE and Andhra Pradesh have unveiled the masterplan for Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, which will have a waterfront promenade, a cricket stadium by the river and a central park, in a major development in the partnership to create a city from scratch.

Singapore yesterday also handed over the masterplan for the 125 sq km capital city, completing the second of three stages in developing a detailed masterplan for the capital city.

The capital city will be a "green city" with a public transport network including a 145km mass rapid transit system, lots of green spaces including lake parks and a central park, as well as a golf course. There is also an extensive network of walkways and cycle tracks.

"What you end up having is a capital city that is liveable and sets a new benchmark in standards not just in India, but also internationally," said Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Home Affairs, at a joint press conference with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

"Singapore has worked closely with the Andhra Pradesh government to complete the masterplan on schedule," Mr Iswaran said.

The masterplan for Amaravati, named in March after an ancient Buddhist city, is being designed in three phases by Singapore companies Surbana International Consultants and Jurong Consultants. It will guide the development of Amaravati till 2050.

A 7,235 sq km capital regional blueprint was delivered on March 30 this year.

The next stage will be the "seed development" plan for an 8 sq km to 10 sq km project, expected to be handed over in mid-July.

The new capital city will be located on the banks of the Krishna River between the existing cities of Vijayawada and Guntur.

Amaravati is being created from scratch because Andhra Pradesh lost its capital Hyderabad to the new state of Telangana which was created in June last year. Hyderabad, which geographically falls under the new state, is being shared for 10 years by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which will give it time to create its own capital.

Mr Naidu, who in his earlier stint as Andhra Pradesh chief minister, built up Hyderabad as an IT hub, said yesterday that Amaravati would be the best city in India and a 21st century capital with all the modern amenities.

"By and large, the plan is very good," he said at the joint press conference.

With finances for creating the new city a major issue, Mr Naidu said Amaravati would need billions of rupees and he was hoping for further financial support from the federal government, which has already given 15 billion rupees (S$316 million) for the project so far.

A press release from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the aim was to create a vibrant economy, create a liveable Indian city, enhance connectivity, ensure sustainability, and create a "People's Capital".

Once the masterplan stage is completed, Singapore companies are also expected to undertake projects in the city.

Mr Iswaran said that Singapore companies would play by the rules and participate in the process decided by the Andhra Pradesh government on projects.

"This is a blueprint which has to be turned into reality on the ground... certainly some of our companies would be interested," he said.


This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
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