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Years after PM Narendra Modi laid foundation of Amaravati in 2015, several projects in the upcoming city, such as a campus of Vellore Institute of Technology, lay incomplete (Photos: Shine Jacob)


As the tranquil River Krishna flows, its banks are abuzz with last-minute beautification works — all set for the new government’s swearing-in ceremony at Kesarapalli IT Park, near Gannavaram Airport. The city of Vijayawada and the road to Amaravati are festooned with banners proclaiming “Boss is back”, “A hero is always a hero”, “Kingmaker”, and more.


The flex posters are dominated by the larger-than-life images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the soon-to-be Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, his son Nara Lokesh, and Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan. When asked about the foundation stone location for the city of Amaravati, a biker’s enthusiastic response was “Boss is Back”.

 


For the 29 villages nestled around the planned city of Amaravati, or “the place for immortals”, the Lok Sabha and Assembly election results and the Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP’s) victory came as a relief. Locals have witnessed real estate prices skyrocket from a historic low of Rs 6,000 per square yard (in 2020) during Jagan Mohan Reddy’s regime to around Rs 40,000-50,000 per square yard after elections.

 

On Tuesday, hours before his swearing-in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu declared Amaravati as the only capital of the state, putting to rest Reddy’s three-capital plan. “In our government, there will be no games under the guise of three capitals. Our capital is Amaravati. Amaravati is the capital,” he said. 

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Under Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government had decided to have three capitals — Visakhapatnam as an executive capital, while Amaravati and Kurnool as legislative and judicial capitals. This had brought development works at Amaravati to a grinding halt.


Naidu’s dream of Amaravati, conceived during his first tenure as the chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh between 2014 and 2019, faced a setback under Reddy’s YSR Congress Party’s government. However, the dream is now being revived, evident on the roads to Amaravati, which is currently a ghost town with hundreds of large unfinished buildings.

 


Investments of around Rs 10,000 crore have already been made in the capital city, planned to span across 30,000 acres, with an incomplete trunk infrastructure like roads, drains, power and water supply.


Manoj Kumar, a farmer from Thullur area in Guntur district, who had shared his land for the planned Amaravati city, expressed his relief. “This is a victory of the people of Amaravati. Around 32,500 farmers from 29 villages had shared their land for this unique dream of Naidu. Now, we are seeing work starting again at Amaravati,” Kumar told Business Standard at the office of Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi Joint Action Committee (JAC). 


Bhanu Prakash, a 47-year-old farmer, who had five acres in an area with maize cultivation, said he had the shock of his life when Reddy scrapped the Amaravati plans. “Now, we are sure that the first priority for Naidu will be this dream capital,” Prakash added.


The National Democratic Alliance, including TDP, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janasena, won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state with a majority of 164 in the 175-member Assembly, and wins on 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.


Incomplete buildings, including campuses of universities like VIT, and International Institute of Design Studies, can be seen on the way back from Amaravati. “For five years, no works happened in the city and you can only see the incomplete buildings in and around the secretariat, including government offices, and housing centers,” said Kumar


“Real estate prices in the area were around Rs 13,000 per square yard just before the elections and we are seeing it around Rs 20,000 per square yard now. We believe that a lot of investment will happen in the services sector in the region,” said Y V Ramana Rao, President of CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India) in Andhra Pradesh.


Another industry leader said: “Now, we believe that a lot of companies will invest in the IT and services sector.” 


The TDP supremo was on Tuesday elected as NDA leader in the Andhra Pradesh legislative Assembly. In a meeting of legislators of the TDP, Janasena and BJP, held in Vijayawada, the MLAs elected Naidu unanimously, after Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan proposed him as the leader. The dawn of a new era is upon Amaravati, and the people are ready to embrace it.

First Published: Jun 11 2024 | 11:29 PM IST

Source: Latest News