Amaravati Remains A Non-Starter, Says BBC

Notwithstanding the tall claims being made by Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu that his dream capital city of Amaravati is going to take a shape in the next few months, ground realities are entirely different, says a report that appeared in international news portal BBC.

Even as municipal administration minister P Narayana says the construction of roads will pick up pace by December, Naidu’s media managers have gone to the extent of saying that the government would arrange “Amaravati Darshan” for the people to go round and personally understand the progress of works on the capital.But the BBC report says the actual works on Amaravati, which is supposed to be 10 times bigger than Singapore in terms of its area, is still in nascent stage.

“Today, nothing has been built on the vast amount of land procured from farmers. Even roads and basic infrastructure like drainage and power lines are yet to be put in place. Barring an interim government complex with a Legislative Assembly and a Secretariat, there is nothing,” the report said.The BBC attributes the delay to Naidu’s personal obsession with grandiose designs and obsessions for historic legacy. It pointed out how Naidu went on changing the designers – from Japan’s Maki Associates to Foster and Partners, besides engaging film director S S Rajamouli.

But faced with funds crunch, as the central assistance being pittance and the World Bank loan of Rs 3,800 crore not forthcoming, Naidu is trying to borrow funds left, right and centre in his desperate bid to give a shape to the capital city.The BBC report also pointed out the concerns of environmentalists that Amaravati is a flood prone area.“It is an environmentally unsustainable project and a flood risk,” the report says quoting an environmentalist.