The following Post was composed by Anil Prongs. You can follow him here on Twitter.
Oct 22nd 2015, an historic day when the whole world witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the youngest city in India and the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. The event was graced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, delegates from various countries, industrialists, film personalities, and most importantly the chief minister of the neighboring state who was a star attraction of the event.
The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has inflicted deep wounds in the hearts of the people of seemandhra region (the present state of Andhra Pradesh). A hasty decision had left the state with a revenue deficit, with a higher proportion of debt, and without a capital. There was a sense of despair among the people of the state. The location of the capital was a major bone of contention as people of every region were demanding that the capital to be located in their respective regions. Bringing down the speculations the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, has announced that the location of the capital will be between the cities of Guntur and Vijayawada. The name of the new capital city was anointed as “Amaravati”.
The city of Amaravati had a glorious history and was the capital of Satavahana emperors who ruled from 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE. It was a center of Buddhism under the reign of Ashoka, and the famous stupa of Buddha signifies the presence of presence of Buddhist culture. Moreover, the city is legendary for its beautiful sculpture.
Imagine a city with a well planned infrastructure, modern skyscrapers, and pollution free environemnt with integrated traffic system, connected by a water grid system and well planned sanitation system. The future city will have all these technologies in other words a perfect fit for a ‘Smart City’. The main attraction of this city is the river front facing the Krishna river and first in the country’s water taxiways which we only see them in cities like Venice and Bangkok. The government has even proposed economic corridors around the city which brings economic prosperity to the state.
Constructing such a city requires large tracts of land to be acquired which involves a tedious task of convincing the land owners, legal hurdles , a hefty compensation, and sometimes even violence. But the government of Andhra Pradesh has made the impossible possible by introducing the “land pooling system”. Under land pooling systems, landowners voluntarily sign ownership rights over to a single agency or government body. This agency develops the land by building roads and laying sewage lines and electricity connections. Once this is done, it returns a smaller portion of the land to the original owners. But since the plot now has more amenities, its price has probably risen to match the market value of the owners’ original landholding. With this revolutionary scheme the government has successfully acquired 33000 acres without any hurdles and every citizen of AP must be indebted to these land owners who given lands for the capital. One more encouraging aspect is that Singapore has come forward to design the master plan.
Without people’s involvement, no great cause is successful. People of AP are at the forefront in this cause. The people of AP have actively donated for “My brick – My Amaravati”,an online donation scheme to donate bricks for the capital, and it received a huge response from a wide section of people. Even NRIs actively donated for this scheme.
What’s more, the “Mana Matti – Mana Amaravati” scheme where mud is collected from every district and sprinkled at the construction site has received a great response. Thus, one can proudly say Amaravati is a “People’s capital”.
I remember a famous quote “we are the creators of our destiny”. Yes!! Andhra Pradesh is bound to create history by boasting India’s best livable city in the country, and I am sure that day is not far. It is a “tryst with destiny” which is bound to happen.
అదిగో అమరావతి శాతవాహనులు ఏలిన నగరి అపురూప శిల్పాలకు ప్రసిద్ది భౌధ శాంతి మంత్రం చాటిన భువని నవ్యాంధ్రకు రాజధాని మన అమరావతి
— Andhra Pradesh CM (@AndhraPradeshCM) October 19, 2015
Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal.