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Heritage City of Andhra Pradesh; Capital City of Andhra Pradesh
Location of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, India
|Mission||1 September 2014|
|Established||30 December 2014|
|Founded by||N. Chandrababu Naidu|
|Named for||Amareshwara Swamy|
|• Type||Planning agencies|
|• City||217.23 km2 (83.87 sq mi)|
|• Metro||8,352.69 km2 (3,224.99 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
520 XXX, 521 XXX, 522 XXX
|Vehicle registration||AP-7, AP-8, AP-39|
|Website||Amaravati official website|
Amaravati was founded more than 2,200 years ago, serving as an ancient capital. Amaravati was later an important Buddhist holy learning site. Under the British Raj, many ancient Buddhist relics were taken to other museums in Britain and India.
The office of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has operated from Velagapudi since April 2016. The Andhra Pradesh Legislature remained in Hyderabad until March 2017, when it was relocated to newly constructed interim legislative buildings in Velagapudi.
The name "Amaravati" derives from the historical Amaravathi village, the ancient capital of the Satavahana dynasty. The metropolitan areas of Guntur, Vijayawada and Tenali are the major conurbations of Amaravati.
Amaravati translates literally as 'the place for immortals'. It was formerly named after Dhanyakataka, the location where Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Heart Essence form of the Kalachakra Dharma to the Shambala kings.
Amaravati formerly known as ''Dhānyakatakam'' is an important city to the cultural heritage and history of Andhra Pradesh. Its history dates back to 2nd Century BCE when it was the capital of the Satavahana Dynasty of the (Andhras), one of the earliest Indian empires and the ancestral dynasty of Andhra Pradesh. The Satavahanas are prominent in the history of Andhra Pradesh as they inaugurated the festival Telugu New Year (Ugadi) in this region. Their main language was Prakrit written using Brahmi Script, which served as the base for the script of Telugu Language. They issued many coins with this Prakrit language which can be found in many inscriptions in this region today. The practice of Buddhism was predominant during this period and the dynasty was partly responsible for the prevalence of Buddhism in the region.
The city was also once a holy site of Mahayana Buddhism. The city used to have a large Buddhist Stupa known as Mahachaitya (also known as Amaravati Stupa) which was ruined over the time. It was also the center of Buddhist learning and art where many buddhist followers from many South East Asian countries used to visit. It can be seen from the Amaravati Stupa, many Buddhist inscriptions, sculptures and Gautam Buddha Statue in the city. Many other ancient Amaravati Buddhist Marbles and Buddhist relics from the region were unfortunately destroyed over the time and some of them were exported to Chennai Museum and British Museum during the British rule which can be seen there today. The sculptures on the Limestone Marbels depict many Buddhist art, inscriptions and buddhist stupas serving as an eye feast. The city along with Nagarjuna Konda is viewed as one of the richest holy sites of Buddhism in the entire India and Andhra Pradesh.
The present capital area has its historical significance of having recorded its first-ever legislation 2,200 years ago. The present-day capital region includes the ancient Amaravati. The area has been ruled by the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Ikshvakus, Vishnukundina, Pallavas, Cholas, Kakatiyas, Delhi Sultanate, Musunuri Nayaks, Bahmani Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, Sultanate of Golconda and Mughal Empire successively before the founding of the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1724. It was ceded to France in 1750 but was captured by the British in 1759. Guntur returned to the Nizamate in 1768 but was ceded to Britain again in 1788. It was briefly occupied by Hyder Ali. It was then ruled by Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu. It was part of Madras Presidency during the British colonial period.
As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, Hyderabad became the capital of the then newly formed state of Telangana, post bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. However, Hyderabad would remain as the joint capital of both states for a period not exceeding ten years. Hence, Amaravati is being built to serve as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The foundation for the city was laid at Uddandarayunipalem on 22 October 2015. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi; the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu; the Vice President of India and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu; then Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan; the Japanese minister for economy trade and industry, Yosuke Takagi; and the Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, laid the foundation for the city.
In August 2020, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020. According to its provisions, Visakhapatnam is the executive capital while Amaravati and Kurnool serve as legislative and judicial capitals, respectively. The decision resulted in widespread protests by the farmers of Amaravati. The act has been challenged in Andhra Pradesh High Court, which ordered to maintain status quo until the court completes its hearing. On 22 November 2021, the government, led by Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, have withdrawn the act.
The city is being built in Guntur district, on the banks of the Krishna River. The city will be 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south-west of Vijayawada, 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Guntur, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south-east of Tenali surrounding the Coromandel Coast of Coastal Andhra region in Andhra Pradesh.
The 13th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu envisioned Amaravati to be the people-centric pioneer Smart City of India, built around sustainability and livability principles, and to be the happiest city in the world. Among the innovative features on the drawing board are navigation canals around the city, and connecting to an island in the Krishna River. The Government has envisaged an investment needed of US$2–4 billion for the development of the city.
The city is being designed to have 51% green space and 10% of water bodies, with a plan to house some of the most iconic buildings there. It is being modeled on Singapore, with the master plan being prepared by two Singapore government-appointed consultants. Other international consultants and architects will then be brought in to give the city an international flavor.
The Andhra Pradesh State Cabinet meeting passed a resolution of 1 September 2014 to locate the Capital City in a central place of the state, around Vijayawada, and to go for decentralized development of the state with 3 Mega Cities and 14 Smart Cities. The State Government identified the Capital City area between Vijayawada and Guntur cities on the Southern bank of River Krishna upstream of Prakasam Barrage. The Amaravati Capital City has an area of 217.23 km2 and is spread across 25 villages in 3 mandals (Thullur, Mangalagiri and Tadepalli) of Guntur district. The 25 villages in the Capital City area have about 1 lakh population in about 27,000 households. The nearest cities are Vijayawada at a distance of 30 km and Guntur at a distance of 18 km. The nearest railway station is KC Canal railway station near Tadepalli and the nearest airport is Gannavaram which is at a distance of 22 km. The city is planned to spread over 217 km2 area with a total cost of ₹ 553.43 billions to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) out of which state government contribution is only ₹ 126 billion (equity ₹ 66.29 billion and supporting grant ₹ 59.71 billion) spread over a period of 8 years from April 2018 to March 2026 (₹ 5 billion in 2018–19, ₹ 18 billion per year for later six years and ₹ 13 billion in 2025–26).
|City area details:||Land utilization|
|Roads, public utilities, parks, natural streams, water bodies||27,885 acres|
|Plots for residential area allotted to the land contributors (farmers)||11,826 acres|
|For the needs of other developments presently owned by the CRDA||14,037 acres|
|Total area under the jurisdiction of CRDA||53,748 acres|
|Land use||Area (sq. km)||%|
|Public and semi-public||11.49||5.29|
|Open spaces and recreation||52.78||24.29|
|Traffic and transportation||23.04||10.61|
The contribution from the government is to be repaid by the CRDA after 2037. Ultimately state or union governments are not incurring any expenditure to construct the city but wholly financed by the income accrued from the sale of land for various development schemes (₹ 171.51 billion), loans and the local taxes (₹ 146.41 billion by 2037) to the CRDA. The state and union governments are expected to earn ₹ 120 billion per annum out of which state goods and services tax (State GST) alone is ₹ 60 billion per annum. The entire city construction is planned by self-financing from loans and land selling with the state government's moral support. CRDA is expecting a net surplus income of ₹ 333 billion by 2037 after meeting the total expenditure on the city. Amaravati government complex which is intended to provide world-class facilities needed for the state government and its employees' accommodation is also part of the CRDA project. The bus rapid transit system (BRTS) in Amaravati to connect with the adjacent Vijayawada and Guntur cities by world-class road network is also part of the CRDA project. Both Amaravati government complex and BRTS are planned with an expenditure of ₹ 140 billion.
|2014||2 June 2014||AP Reorganization Act comes into force|
|1 September 2014||Location of new Capital City finalized|
|30 December 2014||APCRDA Act comes into effect and APCRDA established|
|2015||January 2015||Voluntary Land Pooling Scheme announced|
|March 2015||Consent for 33,000 acres obtained from farmers|
|30 March 2015||Submission of Perspective Plan by Singapore Govt|
|25 May 2015||Submission of Capital City Plan (391sq. km) by Singapore Govt|
|6 June 2015||Amaravati City Bhoomi Puja (ground-breaking ceremony) by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu|
|20 July 2015||Submission of Seed Area Development Plan by Singapore Govt|
|7 August 2015||Workshop with experts on Capital City master plan (3 days)|
|19 October 2015||Workshop with experts on Capital City master plan|
|October 2015||Amaravati Greenfield Capital City Development receives environmental clearance.|
|22 October 2015||Foundation stone set by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi|
|27 October 2015||Workshop with stake holders on Capital City Master Plan|
|26 December 2015||Notification of Draft Detailed Master Plan for Capital City|
|2016||12 January 2016 to
21 January 2016
|Master Plan awareness programme (Grama Sabhas) in each of the 29 villages|
|23 February 2016||Notification of Detailed Master Plan for Capital City|
|August 2016||First returnable layout published.|
|12 October 2016||Andhra Pradesh interim Secretariat construction completed and inaugurated by Chief Minister Naidu in Amaravati|
|November 2016||20 Returnable layouts published|
|2017||12 January 2017||Inaugurate new transit terminal in Gannavaram Airport|
|19 January 2017||Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on the Environmental & Social Management Framework (ESMF) and Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF)|
|15 August 2017||Foundation stone laidhfor Kings College Hospital by Indo UK Institute of Health|
|16 August 2017||Police Headquarters building complex constructed on the NH-5 in Mangalagiri|
|7 September 2017||Foundation stone laid for Amravati American Institute of Medical Sciences|
|26 November 2017||Real Time Governance State (RGTS) Center at Secretariat|
|2018||7 February 2018||Naidu lays foundation stone of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's 200-acre campus at Amaravati|
|22 June 2018||Foundation stone laid for NRT Icon Towers In Amaravati|
|24 July 2018||Foundation stone laid for mega sports complex in Vijayawada for Project Gandiva|
|31 July 2018||Naidu inaugurates mobile ATMs in Amaravati|
|4 December 2018||First international air services started from Gannavaram Airport to Singapore|
|27 December 2018||Naidu lays foundation stone for Andhra Pradesh Permanent secretariat towers|
|2019||12 January 2019||Foundation stone laid for iconic bridge from Amaravati to Vijayawada|
|17 January 2019||Foundation stone laid for Xavier School of Management in Amaravati|
|3 February 2019||CJI lays foundation stone for Andhra High Court in Amaravati|
|14 February 2019||foundation stone laid for Vykunthapuram Barrage across Krishna river|
|2021||24 March 2021||GO by AP government to form Mangalagiri Tadepalle Municipal Corporation|
|1 July 2021||AP Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy lays foundation for Krishna River Roads|
|2022||4 January 2022||GO by AP government to form Amaravati Municipal Corporation|
See also: 2019–2022 Amaravati protests
In 2019, the new state government allocated a budget of only ₹500 crore and immediately stopped all running projects in the middle of construction that was started by the previous Naidu government. The Amaravati project has substantially slowed with no deadline in sight.
As of 2020, the fate of Amaravati as the sole capital of Andhra Pradesh hangs in balance as the incumbent YSRCP Government has proposed to move the Executive and Judicial components of the capital to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool respectively. There has been a continuing backlash from the farmers of the region against this decision of the Government for the past 644 days. The agitators are still awaiting the Chief Minister's appointment for a plausible solution.
Amaravati is an Urban Notified Area and its urban development and planning activities are undertaken by the Amaravati Development Corporation Limited and Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA). The Andhra Pradesh Secretariat at Velagapudi is the administrative block for the employees of the state government.
The APCRDA has its jurisdiction over the city and is the conurbation covering Andhra Pradesh Capital Region. The capital city is spread over an area of 217.23 km2 (83.87 sq mi), and will comprise villages (including some hamlets) from three mandals viz., Mangalagiri, Thullur and Tadepalle. The seed capital is spread over an area of 16.94 km2 (6.54 sq mi).
The table below lists the identified villages and hamlets under their respective mandals, which became a part of the capital city.
|Thullur mandal||Abbarajupalem, Ainavolu, Ananthavaram, Borupalem, Dondapadu, Kondarajupalem (de-populated), Lingayapalem (including Modugulankapalem hamlets), Malkapuram, Mandadam (Tallayapalem hamlets), Nekkallu, Nelapadu, Pitchikalapalem, Rayapudi, Sakhamuru, Thulluru, Uddandarayunipalem, Velagapudi, Venkatapalem|
|Mangalagiri mandal||Krishnayapalem, Nidamarru, Kuragallu (including Nerukonda hamlets), Nowlur (including Yerrabalem & Bethapudi hamlets)|
|Tadepalle mandal||Penumaka, Tadepalle (M) (part) (Nulakapet, Dolas Nagar etc.), Undavalli|
- M – municipality
- The names in brackets are the hamlet villages of the respective settlement.
The residents of Amaravati are mainly Telugu-speaking people along with some Urdu and other minorities. Telugu is the official language of the city. Hindus form a very large majority, but here are also Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist communities. Religious sites include the Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple, and the Amaravati stupa in the Amaravati heritage complex.
The state government originally initiated the Singapore-based Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development consortium for the city's construction. The city's infrastructure was to be developed in 7–8 years in phases, at an estimated cost of ₹33,000 crore. ₹7,500 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO), $500 million from the World Bank and ₹2,500 crore from the Indian Government, of which ₹1,500 crore has been granted.
As of July 2019, the World Bank dropped funding for Amaravati. As of September 2019, the Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development consortium have also withdrawn from the project. With only state government allocated budget of ₹500 crore in 2019, the Amravati project has substantially slowed, with no deadline in sight.
Nine themed cities consisting of Finance, Justice, Health, Sports, Media, and Electronics; including Government buildings designed by Norman Foster, Hafeez Contractor, Reliance Group, and NRDC-India will be built within the city. Pi Data Centre, the fourth largest of its kind in Asia with an investment of ₹600 crore (US$75 million), and Pi Care Services, a healthcare BPO,[clarification needed] were inaugurated at Mangalagiri IT park. HCL Technologies, an IT firm would set up one of its centres in Amaravati.
BRS Medicity with an investment of $1.8 billion is to come to Amaravati. Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics produced in Mangalagiri mandal, a part of the state capital, were registered as one of the geographical indications from Andhra Pradesh.
Colleges and universities
There are public funded universities within the city limits:
- Acharya Nagarjuna University
- Guntur Medical College
- Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University
- Krishna University
- Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences
- National Institute of Design
- Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Nuzvid
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalagiri
Private and autonomous colleges in the city include:
- KL University
- Vignan's Foundation for Science, Technology & Research
- Andhra Loyola College
- SRM University, Andhra Pradesh
- Vellore Institute of Technology
- Siddhartha Medical College
- Gudlavalleru Engineering College
- NRI Academy of Medical Sciences
- Andhra Christian College
- Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology
- Katuri Medical College
Private institutes like Amrita University, Amity University and the Indo-UK Institute of Health (IUIH) in collaboration with the King's College London, are among others to set up campus in Amaravati. In 2018 the city's first management institute, Xavier School of Management, was under construction near Ainavolu.
Located on the banks of the Krishna River and between natural getaways and places of heritage, the city has several tourist attractions:
The buses operated by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) from Pandit Nehru Bus Station and NTR bus station, Tenali bus station connects the city with Vijayawada and Tenali, Guntur respectively.
The government, however, is to explore other means of mass transport like ‘mono rail’, Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and tramways. Two new depots, North and South of the APSRTC are proposed to be constructed. Auto rickshaws also operate for shorter distances in the capital city area.
The Amaravati–Anantapur Expressway, supported by Kurnool and Kadapa Feeder Roads is an ongoing greenfield expressway project, which would provide faster road access from the districts of Anantapur, Guntur, Kadapa, Kurnool and Prakasam to Amaravati, Rajamahendravaram, Kakinada, and Visakhapatnam. The Amaravati seed capital road is an arterial road under construction to access the core capital area from National Highway 16. The Vijayawada-Amaravati road connects the city with Vijayawada.
A proposed Amaravati high-speed circular railway line would connect the city with the nearby cities of Vijayawada, Guntur and Tenali, extending up to a length of 105 km (65 mi) with an estimated cost of ₹10,000 crore (US$1.3 billion).And a metro rail project is proposed between the cities of Tenali, Guntur, and Vijayawada of 100 km circular corridor. 
ACA International Cricket Stadium (also known as the Andhra Cricket Association International Cricket Stadium) is a stadium under construction at Mangalagiri in Amaravati. It is situated in Guntur district and will be spread over 24 acres. The stadium will be owned by Andhra Cricket Association and has a seating capacity of 40,000.
The complex has been under construction at Vidyadharapuram on 8.9 acres (3.6 ha) of land. It consists of two swimming pools of 50×20 metres and 20×20 metres, an outdoor synthetic track, a multipurpose indoor hall, and a Ground+2 clubhouse. This complex will be the new headquarters for the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP).
From 16 to 18 November in 2018, Amaravati hosted the second (after Mumbai in 2004) F1H2O World championship Grand Prix ever held in India. The event brought wide media attention especially after one of the teams took the color and the name of the state, making it the first Indian branded team in the history of F1H2O. Team Amaravati led by drivers Jonas Andrson and Eric Edin.
Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama participated in the First National Women's Parliament in Amaravati on 10 February 2017. He said, "Making Amaravati, the capital of new Andhra Pradesh is a welcome move and I wish it develops well on all fronts. This heritage city has undergone a lot of change over the years... The economy would flourish where there is peace".
The Happy Cities Summit Amaravati 2019 backed by APCRDA aims to build on the success and momentum of the inaugural summit to establish Amaravati at the forefront of the discourse on urban innovation with a focus on citizen happiness. Discussion of the Happy Homes project was underway after Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was elected Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has also successfully hosted the inaugural Happy Cities Summit in Amaravati in April 2018. The summit saw the participation of 1,500+ delegates from 15+ countries, including eminent city leaders and urban experts.
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