VIJAYAWADA: Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, is now preparing itself to compete for the ‘Smart City’ tag from the Central Government.
The clearance for the new capital city to compete for consideration under Smart City mission of the Central Government came from the Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu. Announcing 13 more smart cities that include Warangal in Telangana in New Delhi on Tuesday, he said seven capital cities left out of Smart City Mission will also be allowed to participate in the competition.
These cities are: Patna, Shimla, Naya Raipur, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). The announcement allowing Amaravati compete for Smart Cities tag came as surprise for many, since the city is yet to be constructed and as of today is limited to draft board.
“There is no capital city in reality as of now and only an area has been specified as the capital city. In fact, the people are living in different villages in that specified area, which are yet to be denotified as village panchayats and they still have elected representatives. On what parameters had Amaravati been given clearance to compete to become part of the Smart City Mission? The other six capital cities in the list have physical shape, boundaries, population etc with city administration running the show. What about Amaravati?” Mangalagiri MLA A Ramakrishna Reddy demanded to know.
Reddy, whose Assembly constituency forms part of the capital area, says the NDA government had in fact given only `850 crore for the capital city development so far. In view of the criticism it is facing, it may have allowed Amaravathi to compete as part of the diversionary tactic, he said,
When contacted, Guntur Joint Collector Ch Sridhar said technically 214 sq km area encompassing 29 villages, has been declared as Urban Notified Area under AP CRDA Act. Hence, it is qualified to compete for inclusion in Smart City Mission. However, efforts to contact CRDA commissioner proved futile.
Virtual City - Real Competition
Amaravati finds place among seven cities allowed to compete for smart city tag.
214 sq km area encompassing 29 villages has been declared as Urban Notified Area under AP CRDA Act.
If selected, fund will flow from Centre to Amaravati.
So far, Centre gave 850 crore for Amaravati.