GUNTUR: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu have promised to take measures for bringing back several precious artefacts and sculptures belonging to the ancient Amaravati from the British Museum in London.
“The Britishers not only looted our nation’s wealth, but also took away the artecrafts from the historic town of Amaravati. I have already consulted with the Chief Minister and took the issue to the notice of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to take necessary steps to bring back the artecrafts being displayed in the British Museum,” Venkaiah Naidu said.
The Union minister, along with the Chief Minister, launched the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme as well as the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme at Amaravati in Guntur district on Saturday. They also laid the foundation-stone for `21.5 crore integrated water scheme intended to supply drinking water to 39 villages under Pedakurapadu and Tadikonda Assembly constituencies.
As part of the first phase of HRIDAY scheme, the Union government sanctioned funds to the tune of ` 22.26 crore for the development of Amaravati. Similarly, the Centre sanctioned `28.36 crore under PRASAD scheme.
Addressing a public gathering on the occasion, the Union Minister, who handed over the funds sanction letter to the Chief Minister, said the Centre altogether sanctioned `60.62 crore to Amaravati under both the schemes and sought the latter to sanction another `50 crore on behalf of the state government for the allround development of the town.
On the occasion, he also underlined the need for providing the best connectivity to the ancient Amaravai with the new Amaravati (the new capital of the state). Detailing the historic importance of Amaravati, he said it was the place that visited by Gautama Buddha several centuries ago and from where Acharya Nagarjuna launched the propagation of Buddhism.
Speaking on the occasion, Chandrababu Naidu said they would develop the ancient Amaravati in such manner that all those visiting the state’s new capital city would also make a visit to the historic town. The articrats belonging to Amaravati lying in British Museum in London, as well as in Tamil Nadu, will be brought the back, he said.
“No doubt, it is going to be one of the best historic city,” he maintained.
Promising to sanction `50 crore for development of Amaravati as sought by Venkaiah Naidu, he said the government would complete the Jnana Buddha project at the earliest.
He further appealed to those farmers, who approached court refusing to part their lands to an extent of 16 acres for the Buddhist circuit, to withdraw the petitions and cooperate with the government for the expansion of the project, which will come in handy for expansion of tourism sector in the town. He said the government would take its own steps in case the farmers show reluctance.
On the occasion, he also announced R Mallikarjuna Rao as special officer of the Jnana Buddha project. The Chief Minister promised to construct a lift irrigation scheme at Bodhanam to provide irrigation water to villages under Pedakurapadu constituency by drawing water from Pulichintala project.
Deputy Chief Minister N Chinnarajappa, ministers P Pulla Rao, D Umamaheswara Rao and Kamineni Srinivas, Visakhapatnam BJP M K Haribabu, Narasaraopet MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Pedakurapadu MLA K Sridhar and others were present.