Andhra CM Naidu vows to rebuild Amaravati, restore investor confidence

As per the plan, Naidu explained that it was proposed to monetise 8,274 acres of government land to raise funds and use the revenue for capital construction.
CM Naidu released the white paper on Amaravati on Wednesday.
CM Naidu released the white paper on Amaravati on Wednesday.Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA : The TDP-led NDA government in the State is committed to rise to the challenge of building Amaravati, regaining the trust of investors and clear legal hurdles in establishing the capital city, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asserted as he released the white paper on Amaravati on Wednesday. This is the second of the seven white papers that the State government has proposed to publish.

Expressing regret over the wanton destruction of Amaravati, a world-class city in the making, by the previous YSRC government, Naidu said he is now going forward with a positive mindset to rebuild the people’s capital at the earliest.

“We have a huge task before us. But we will ensure justice is done to farmers of Amaravati, against whom false cases were foisted,” he said. The Chief Minister declared that he will raise issues pertaining to rebuilding the capital city, the financial condition of the State and the Polavaram Irrigation Project during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Union Ministers in New Delhi. Naidu left for the national capital later in the evening.

Elaborating on the efforts taken by the TDP government from 2014 to 2019 to build Amaravati after the bifurcation rendered the State without a capital, the Chief Minister lashed out at the previous YSRC regime for causing damage to the capital city and jeopardising the future of future generations. Naidu began his presentation by playing a video of Amaravati gallery in the London Museum, depicting the heritage of Telugu people dating back to the Satavahana Dynasty. 

Land pooling system a win-win situation for all: CM

Recalling that it was media baron Ramoji Rao who had researched and advised to name the capital city Amaravati, he elaborated on the decision to choose Amaravati as the capital city.

“The location for the new capital city, which is centrally situated with good connectivity, was chosen in consideration with the recommendations made by the Sivaramakrishna Committee. The name -- Amaravati -- was also accepted by all parties. YSRC president Jagan Mohan Reddy, the then Opposition leader, too had accepted it in the Assembly. He even mocked me for not having a house in the capital. However, he did construct one,” Naidu said.

Recounting his role in developing Cyberabad, he said it is now one of the most sought-after IT destinations in the world, employing scores of people.

Despite the financial constraints in constructing a new green field capital, Naidu pointed out that he had come up with a land pooling system to develop Amaravati. “It was a win-win situation for all. My intention was to ensure that those who stood to benefit from the capital were happy, and those who gave their lands to develop the city were also equally happy. The World Bank has taken the Land Pooling Scheme as a case study,” he noted.

Out of the 53,748 acres required for the new capital, 34,400.15 acres were acquired from 29,966 farmers under the Land Pooling Scheme after a binding agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA). Farmers were to be paid an annuity of Rs 30,000 per acre for 10 years in case of dry land and Rs 50,000 per acre in case of wetland.

Additionally, they were also to receive returnable residential plot of 1,000 square yards and 250 square yards commercial plot per acre in case of dry land. Farmers who gave up wetland were to receive residential plot in 1,000 square yards and 450 square yards commercial plot per acre.

Rebuilding Amaravati
Rebuilding AmaravatiPhoto | Express

As per the plan, Naidu explained that it was proposed to monetise 8,274 acres of government land to raise funds and use the revenue for capital construction.

The Happy Nest Project, too, was being constructed to raise funds. “We had an agreement with the Singapore government, employed the world’s best experts to construct the capital with iconic buildings for the Assembly, High Court, Government complex and enviable riverfront,” he added.

He said, “After Jagan came to power in 2019, every one knows what he did. The NDA government’s efforts were wasted due to the proposal of the YSRC regime to develop three capitals. Farmers protested for 1,631 days to save Amaravati and were engaged in a bitter legal struggle.”

Underscoring the need for continuity in any development project, Naidu opined, “Had work relating to Amaravati capital city gone ahead as planned, up to one lakh people would have been residing in it by now, seven lakh jobs would have been created and `10,000 crore State taxes would have been realised by the government, including wealth generation across the State.”

Accusing the previous government of withdrawing contractors, cancelling agreements, and even stopping funding from the Centre, the Chief Minister said, “Investors and construction companies lost trust. Today we have a great challenge before us to regain their trust. They might or might not respond, but we will work hard and revisit all project proposals made for the construction of Amaravati.”

Highlighting the ‘negligence’ of the YSRC regime, he alleged that raw material was stolen and soil was also dug out.

“Fortunately, they did not touch the sacred soil brought from across the State and country when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone,” he said.

The Chief Minister averred that he will establish the ‘people’s capital’ and live up to the expectations of the people of Andhra Pradesh, who reposed faith in him to put the ‘Sunrise State’ back on right track.

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