AMARAVATI(AP): The Andhra Pradesh government will decide on the future of the state’s new capital, Amaravati, once the expert panel constituted to draft a comprehensive plan for its development, submits its report, official sources said. Exactly four years ago on this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for building Amaravati. The then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had unveiled computer graphics of the city-that-would-be, promising it to be the “heaven on earth” akin to God Indra’s capital. The new dispensation led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has put the capital city project on the backburner citing several reasons including alleged irregularities in land procurement during the Telugu Desam Party rule. “Where the capital should be and how it should be will be decided only after the experts committee submits its report,” Municipal minister Botcha Satyanarayana told PTI. The committee, headed by retired IAS officer G N Rao, was constituted by the state government on September 13 with a six-week deadline to submit its report. “The Committee report is expected only in December and the government may announce the fate of the capital in January,” official sources said. After the regime change in the state in May this year, the Singapore consortium that was supposed to develop the 1691-acre Start-up Area in the capital backed out of the project and sought its equity share back. The Indo-UK Medicity project has been scrapped while the BR Shetty Medicity venture too is almost closed. Both projects did not take off after the foundation stone ceremonies in 2016. The AP Capital Region Development Authority has reportedly issued only Letters of Intent to central government organisations over land allotment. But, in many cases, the registrations were not done. This was because the CRDA wanted a revision in the Master Plan, official sources said. The residential quarters for legislators and All India Services officers remain half complete as also the bungalows for high court judges. “In December last, tenders for various works worth Rs 36,000 crore were called as part of the capital development. But there is no financial tie-up for them,” the municipal minister pointed out. Most of these works have now either been scrapped or stalled. “Everything related to the capital remains ambiguous, there’s no clarity on anything. That’s the problem,” Botcha remarked. He alleged Naidu wasted five years and tried only to build his own image, not the capital.
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