scorecardAnnouncing Amaravati as the only capital, new CM Chandrababu Naidu breathes life into Andhra’s dream of a smart capital
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Announcing Amaravati as the only capital, new CM Chandrababu Naidu breathes life into Andhra’s dream of a smart capital

Announcing Amaravati as the only capital, new CM Chandrababu Naidu breathes life into Andhra’s dream of a smart capital
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
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Ten years ago, Chandrababu Naidu made a promise that Amaravati would be the capital of Andhra Pradesh. In April 2024, at a public meeting in Tadikonda, he announced that Amaravati is the heart of Andhra Pradesh and if he is voted back to power, he will make sure the city remains its only capital.

And true to his word, just before his swearing-in as Chief Minister, Naidu announced that Amaravati would be the one and only capital of the state. No more talk of three capitals, he asserted.

A capital drama

In the hustle and bustle of Andhra Pradesh's political landscape, a significant shake-up occurred on June 2, 2024. Hyderabad, once the heart of administrative affairs, bowed out, thanks to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014. The state found itself in a peculiar situation — one without an official capital. While one side of the state’s political spectrum batted for multiple capitals for the state, another pushed for only one — Amaravati!

Let's rewind a bit. Telangana became India's newest state in 2013, stirring up the whole capital matter for Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister at the time, Chandrababu Naidu, had his eyes set on Amaravati as the new capital. He dreamed big, envisioning it as a modern hub of governance. But then Jagan Mohan Reddy came into the picture in 2019 with a completely different idea — a concept of three capitals!

Amidst all the political drama and legal tussles, Andhra Pradesh's administrative setup got stuck in limbo. The High Court stepped in, telling the state to stick to the commitments made by its previous government, making things even more complicated.

On June 4, 2024, the state’s fate began to get increasingly clear after N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP clinched a sweeping victory in the assembly elections. The NDA alliance of TDP, BJP and Janasena won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state with a brute majority of 164 assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats.

Amaravati: a green smart city in the making

Naidu’s decision breathes new life into Amaravati's capital city project. But there's work to be done. With Hyderabad out of the picture, there's a logistical mess to sort out — offices, homes, and civic infrastructure need significant rejigging. It's a hassle, but it's also an opportunity.

Amaravati is a new city being built from scratch (greenfield) on a large area (217 sq km) along the Krishna River. By 2050, it's expected to be home to 3.5 million people. The city is well-connected by road, rail, and air to major Indian cities. Land for Amaravati's development was acquired through a special program and the city is being designed with a focus on sustainability and smart technologies.

Amaravati was selected in Round 3 of the Central Government’s Smart City Challenge in June 2017. Located along the Krishna River with good transport connections, it was among the few greenfield cities selected under India's Smart Cities Mission. Focus on eco-friendly development and using technology to improve quality of life makes it a smart and sustainable city as per the City Corporation.

As Amaravati steps into the spotlight, Andhra Pradesh will hopefully chart its course towards a more stable and sustainable future.

(With inputs from PTI)

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