Amaravati: Inching Towards Becoming A World-Class City
About two decades ago, when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu thought of shaping Hyderabad along the lines of an information technology (IT) major, many considered it to be a utopia. The critics had to lose face, as we all know it. The state's new capital, Amaravati, is likely to be a similar success story. Infrastructure majors such as Larsen and Toubro and Shapoorji Pallonji and Co Ltd have started undertaking work at Velagapudi to turn Amaravati into a world-class city amid criticisms from the National Green Tribunal.
Amidst reviews of fresh designs of the city that are pouring in, Minister for Municipal Administration, P Narayana said, "We will finalise the designs by the end of this month and invite tenders for the construction work early next month."
The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) has planned to create ring-fenced entities (RFEs) for the execution of "remunerative projects" like water and power supply, transport and a host of others in the upcoming capital city- Amaravati.
For example, Amaravati Development Fund (proposed), is one of the RFEs will be responsible for raising required finances for the (capital) city development. Similarly, Amaravati Building Construction Company Limited will be responsible for construction and maintenance of government campus, including Secretariat, Legislature, High Court. Amaravati Utilities Company Limited to build and maintain water supply, waste water, storm water, power and gas systems, Amaravati Blue-Green Infrastructure Company Limited to build and maintain flood mitigation infrastructure and also city canals, Amaravati Growth Corridor Company Limited to build and maintain ring roads and growth corridors in the capital region and the like.
Why Amaravati stands to gain
Amaravati has some inherent benefits when looked at from an investment perspective. One, its historical importance which maps to the Satavahana kingdom. Second, the region boasts ample water supply. What is more? Its location in between Vijaywada and Guntur makes it viable as an investment ground. Till recently, Amaravati was touted only as a tourism hotspot. Now, Vijaywada's popularity as an entrepreneurial hub and because of its connectivity could do Amaravati some good. Even Guntur with its various educational institutes, business centres and commercial zones could help scatter housing demand in Amaravati as the two areas are about an hour apart.
Story so far
Last year, work on building residential quarters for government officials was already underway. Construction of a little over 9,000 flats had already been sanctioned and approved. Developed by the Amravati Development Corporation, these will be up for purchase and would be allotted to officials as per their ranks in the administration.
For a city that is almost six times bigger than Chennai, Amravati has the benefit of being a planned city in the league of Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar and Naya Raipur. Jurong International Holdings Pte Ltd and Surbana International Consultants Pte. Ltd of Singapore had already drew three masterplans for the city. The larger city is expected to be home to 13.5 million people by 2050 as per the masterplan.
Chinese and Japanese firms, too, turned to Amravati to help build a sustainable city. Besides, Tokyo based Maki and Associates would serve as the master architect.
At the same time, there would be a need for equally strong social and physical infrastructure. Private players, too, would contribute to give shape to Amaravati. Meanwhile, proposals are afloat for developing urban solutions, core capital areas, sewer networks, water supply etc.
On the whole, if notable private players join hands in building Amaravati, there are chances that big key corporates are roped in to invest in the city.
Where should you invest?
With speculation around which city will become the capital, prices did soar. As of now, the state administration machinery as well as government official are moving base. It makes sense to invest closer to Amaravati as further development is only going to add up to the costs. However, beware of artificial price rise in the name of future development. Also, bank on clear title land when going in for plotted development.
Narayana also said that 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."