VIJAYAWADA: A year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that he visit Kazakhstan and study how its new capital city Astana was built, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today landed in that country and discussed the capital development issue with its Defence Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov.
Tasmagambetov was formerly Mayor of Astana and was instrumental in building Kazakhstan's new capital city.
A release from the Chief Minister's Office here said tonight that Tasmagambetov explained to Chandrababu the problems they faced in building the new capital, after having to abandon the erstwhile capital city Almaty.
"Almaty was to a corner of the country and we realised the need to build a capital in the centre of the country. When our President wanted to build a new capital, people questioned if it was necessary. Now, we are celebrating the 18th anniversary of the new capital," Tasmagambetov was quoted as telling Naidu.
"For designing and developing the capital city, we pooled resources from government, private and foreign companies. Basic infrastructure like electricity cabling, drainage were created underground. We spent most of the money on infrastructure building only," the Kazakhstan defence minister said.
"If we can create confidence, investors are ready to put in their money. Our rules and regulations should be liberal and transparent," he added.
Tasmagambetov expressed hope that Andhra Pradesh, which was building its new capital city Amaravati, would be able to attract investments to the tune of USD 20 billion, the CMO release said.
On his part, Naidu said there were "similarities" between AP and Kazakhstan.
"You separated from Russia and ours is also a state that has been divided. Now, the world is talking about you. So our Prime Minister insisted that I visit your country," Naidu said.
He said farmers had come forward voluntarily and pooled 33,000 acres of land for building the new capital city.
He also listed the steps taken to build Amaravati with the help of Singapore, Japan and other countries.
Earlier, the Chief Minister and the AP delegation visited Kok Tobe, the largest entertainment zone and tourist hub of Kazakhstan.
He travelled to Kok Tobe in a cable car from the city centre and wanted to create similar facilities in AP, the CMO release said.