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Andhra Pradesh scouts for suitable site for capital; Chandrababu Naidu wants it to be slum-free

Monday, 18 August 2014 - 6:19am IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: dna

Two months after Telangana came into being, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu continues to work from make-shift chambers in a guest house in Hyderabad.

He is drawing grand plans for a new capital. The Shivaramakrishna Committee set up by the Centre to identify the appropriate site for the new capital is expected to submit its report by August end.

The committee in its meeting last week discussed 53 cities in India and abroad, their area, design and model. It was suggested that a good capital city can be built in 5,000 hectares of land. The committee pitched for clustered development in which all schools will be in one node, banks in another and government offices in the third node and so on.

What does Chandrababu Naidu want?

The state government has short listed 11 cities – four in India and six abroad -- to study their models. The cities are Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Navi Mumbai and new Raipur in India, and Brasilia (Brazil), Islamabad (Pakistan), Astana (Kazakhstan), Putrajaya (Malaysia), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) Dubai (UAE), and Singapore. 'We want to introduce the best systems from all these cities in our new capital," says Andhra Pradesh's urban development minister P Narayana. At least four models of the new capital were presented to the state government by five world-renowned architecture experts and builders from Singapore, Brazil and London recently. " I am not looking for a capital city like New York or Tokyo. I only want that the new state capital should be able to evolve into a smart city and be more than Tokyo and New York in the next 25 years," says Chandrababu Naidu. He also he wants the new capital to be slum-free and also have adequate greenery.

How much is the new capital expected to cost and who will bear the expenses?

While the TDP government and the CM have raised an initial demand for Rs1.l5 lakh crore, it is expected that the cost over runs would push the budget up to Rs 2.75 lakh crore. So far Centre has released only Rs5,000 crore for design, study etc. As per the AP Reorganisation Act, the Centre is to fund the entire cost of the new capital. But the state government might have to spend at least 30% of the total expenditure on urban and HR infrastructure.

What is needed in a capital?

As per the basic requirements of the new capital, a minimum of 22 five-storeyed buildings with a one lakh square feet (sqft) area each are needed to house all government departments. One lakh sqft complex is required to house the assembly and council. Another 1.5 lakh sqft area is needed to accommodate different wings and departments of the police establishment. About 50,000 sqft has been earmarked for the offices of the chief Minister and chief secretary, two lakh sqft for govt hospitals, central jail and 50,000 sqft for treasury offices. The expert committee has also suggested 2,000 acres for residential quarters for ministers, IAS and IPS officers besides other government employees.

What are the possible choices for capital?

The choice is between Vijayawada and Ongole in the central part of the state. In view of the feasibility of Vijayawqada, real estate prices of Vijayawada-Guntur belt have already shot up manifold.

Once the choice is made how much time will it take for the capital to build?

Once the committee makes its choice public, the state government will need minimum six months to finalise the design and sketch of the architecture.
According to global consultancy firm Mckinsey and Shivaramakrishna Committee, it would take nearly 5-7 years to build a new capital. Chandigarh took eight years, Gandhinagar took seven years and Raipur is still under construction.

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