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Revival of Amaravati Capital City Project in Andhra Pradesh

Following the resounding victory of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the recent Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, the long-awaited Amaravati capital city project is expected to be revived. This ambitious project, originally proposed by TDP leader N. Chandrababu Naidu during his tenure as the first chief minister of the bifurcated state from 2014 to 2019, had been shelved by the outgoing YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government.

The Vision for Amaravati

Amaravati was envisioned as a greenfield capital city, environmentally sustainable and strategically located between the cities of Vijayawada and Guntur, spanning 29 villages. Naidu’s administration had acquired up to 30,000 acres of land from farmers through a land pooling system for the construction of the capital. The foundation stone for Amaravati was laid on October 22, 2015, in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Setbacks and Controversies

The project faced a significant setback in 2019 when the YSRCP, led by Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, won a landslide victory. Reddy proposed an alternative plan of developing three separate capitals for Andhra Pradesh, effectively sidelining the Amaravati project. This proposal was met with resistance and controversy, and with the recent defeat of Reddy in the 2024 elections, the three-capital plan is expected to be abandoned.

Renewed Commitment to Amaravati

The TDP’s return to power, supported by an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jana Sena, has reignited hopes for the development of Amaravati. In his election manifesto, released on April 30 from his residence in Undavalli, Naidu reaffirmed his commitment to developing Amaravati as the state’s capital. TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh, who won from the Mangalagiri assembly segment, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that Amaravati’s development will be a top priority for the new government.

Addressing Past Damages

TDP spokesperson Jyothsna Tirunagari highlighted the destruction and delays caused by the previous administration. She noted that many areas would need to be rebuilt from scratch, although the Secretariat and Assembly buildings remain intact. Tirunagari criticized the YSRCP for allegedly digging up roads and halting progress on the project, but she assured that the reconstruction of Amaravati would proceed with renewed vigor.

Farmers’ Hopes and Challenges

Farmers who contributed their land to the Amaravati project are hopeful for the project’s revival. One farmer expressed optimism about Naidu’s victory, stating that it brings clarity and promises cooperation from the central government. However, there are still unresolved issues, such as the delayed land leases. Despite years of agitation, farmers had felt ignored by the previous administration. They are now looking forward to a resolution under the new government but are prepared to continue their protests until all their concerns are addressed.

Conclusion

The revival of the Amaravati capital city project marks a significant shift in Andhra Pradesh’s development strategy. With the TDP’s renewed commitment and the support of the central government, there is optimism that the vision for a sustainable and strategically located capital will finally come to fruition. The new government faces the challenge of addressing past damages and meeting the expectations of the farmers and citizens who have long awaited the realization of Amaravati.

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