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Many new Amaravati projects to take off in coming months, say India officials
The Straits Times  |  December 7, 2018

Nirmala Ganapathy India Bureau Chief New Delhi

Many projects are set to take off in the coming months in Amaravati, said officials involved with the development of Andhra Pradesh's new capital city.


The Amaravati capital region is being built on 7,420 sq km of agricultural land on the banks of the Krishna river between the cities of Vijayawada and Guntur.


Construction works on some government buildings and housing for government officials and legislators have started.


Two tertiary institutions - VIT Vellore University and SRM University - have been running classes over the past year in Amaravati.


"Amaravati is progressing very fast. There are 4,000 houses that will be completed by March for all government employees. The building of the High Court has been tendered," Mr Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary (Investment and Infrastructure) in the Andhra Pradesh government, told The Straits Times.


"For the Assembly, we have to finalise the tender. Some of the state government offices have started construction as well," he added.


He said projects worth 500 billion rupees (S$9.68 billion) was in the works to build infrastructure from roads, housing, to offices.


Mr Jain noted that the land acquisition process was almost complete, with 98 per cent of the land for the capital city under government possession, and efforts are being made to acquire the remaining 2 per cent.


Andhra Pradesh needs a new capital city because it lost its capital Hyderabad to Telangana, India's newest state that was created in June 2014. The agreement sees the two states sharing Hyderabad for 10 years.


Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is facing election next year, has been trying to push the project along and has, on numerous occasions, spoken of replicating Singapore.


But critics said that work is not moving fast enough and should have been in a more advanced stage by now.


"Nothing much has happened on the ground except for a couple of structures. Everything is still in planning stage," said Mr K. Nageshwar, an independent legislator in Andhra Pradesh.


"Only blueprints are ready and real estate prices have increased."