- Baahubali director S Rajamouli has been roped in to help create Amaravati
- Amaravati is to become the capital of Andhra Pradesh in 2019
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has grand ambitions planned for the city
On Wednesday, Mr Naidu held meetings at his office in a temporary secretariat with all those involved in envisioning, designing and executing the building of the new capital city that is expected to cost Rs 58000 crore. Among those who attended was Mr Rajamouli, who was to provide cultural context to the buildings being planned.
In mythology, Amaravati was the fabled capital of Indra, the king of gods. Mr Naidu's dream -- going by a bunch of blueprints he finalised after meetings today -- is equally ambitious. The blueprints show a city grander than Mahishmati -- the kingdom over which the protagonists of Bahubali plotted, murdered and battled: A glass and concrete extravaganza with soaring towers, huge lakes, squeaky clean pavements and trees that look like distant cousins of the red-leafed maple.
Planned over 54000 acres, Amaravati will be a "green and blue" city with lung spaces and water, unlike the brown cities across the country, boasted C Sridhar, who heads the Capital Region Development Authority as its chairperson.
The city is being modelled on Singapore -- with two Singapore's government-appointed consultants preparing the master plan. International consultants and architects will provide the world-class touch. World famous names like Norman Foster and Hafeez Contractor will design the iconic buildings.
For Andhra Pradesh, the clock is ticking. When Telangana was carved out of it in June 2014, Hyderabad was made the joint capital of the two states. But at the end of a decade, it will function only as the capital of Telangana. By that time, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh needs to be up and running to make the transition seamless.
But lately, the state officials and even the Chief Minister has been heard saying that they were "in no hurry" since they were going to build "one of the top five cities in the world".
Of the huge expanse of land, 33000 acres have been acquired from farmers in the largest such exercise completed in the shortest possible time. The temporary secretariat and assembly, as of now, stands on 49 acres.
To fund the Rs 58000 crore project, Rs 14,200 crore has been tied up mainly from state-owned Hudco and the World Bank. Another Rs 14,250 crore is expected from public-private partnership, bonds, a collective investment fund and lease rental discounting, among other avenues. For the project to be viable, monetising about 4,000 acres of land in the heart of the city is crucial.
The residents of the state have contributed more than Rs 56 lakh so far, heeding the call of the Chief Minister to contribute at least Rs 10 -- the price of a single brick -- and become stakeholders in the new city.