On paper and in computer graphic designs, Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city Amaravati looks nothing less than a superlative of magnificence. From the overall city masterplan, designed by Singapore in 2016, to the countless computer-drawn designs of various structures, every bit of the upcoming capital has been leaving everyone in awe for over two years now. However, sceptics claim that the dream capital that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu calls a “heaven on earth” may get an actual shape only after 2035, if not 2050.
“We will finalise the designs by the end of this month and invite tenders for the construction work early next month,” Minister for Municipal Administration P Narayana said. On this day in 2016, the Andhra Pradesh government had “approved” an “excellent” set of designs presented by Japan’s Maki and Associates for the buildings in the Government City in Amaravati. But eventually, Maki was dropped as the master architect and Britain’s Foster+Partners was chosen in its place.
Foster was supposed to submit fresh designs for the 1,375-acre Government City, which comprises the state secretariat, legislature complex, high court, Raj Bhavan, chief minister’s residence, ministers’ bungalows and residential towers for officers, by April, 2017. Though Foster came up with many designs in the past few months, nothing has been formally finalised yet.
“The government could not even finalise the designs for the capital buildings in the last four years. When will the capital be actually built?,” wondered BJP MLA P Vishnu Kumar Raju. “The graphic designs being shown give you goosebumps,” he remarked sarcastically. Of the buildings in the Government City, the government wants to construct the legislature complex (8.25-lakh sq.ft built-up area) and the high court (15 lakh sq.ft) as “iconic” structures.
“We have chosen a spike design structure for the legislature complex with a rich elegance, reflecting the high aspirations of the people. The high court building design is inspired by the Buddhist Stupa architecture, while the secretariat towers will have a smart design with a focus on accessibility,” Narayana pointed out. One of the highlights of the Government City will be the 46-floor riverfront tower that will house the chief minister’s office with a rooftop helipad. From his chamber in the tower, the chief minister will have a bird’s eye view of the capital city.
Among the ambitious plans are 27 townships that will come up on 1,000 acres each to house a gross population of 27 lakh. Since Amaravati will be a “blue-and-green city”, over 30 per cent of the overall area has been earmarked for parks and other green patches. Each township will be broken into four neighbourhoods of 250 acres and a population of 25,000 people each. Each neighbourhood will be further divided into four communities of about 6,000 population.
“Amaravati will have a total population of 40 lakh people in 35 years. Over 20 lakh jobs will be created in the next 25-35 years. It will be a truly world-class city that is vibrant, smart, happy and liveable,” Narayana noted.