This week Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr S. Iswaran, representing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Amaravati – a future planned Smart city and the capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The reason why being that the city is being developed in collaboration with Singapore, and the meeting included a formal ceremony to launch the capital city.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Amaravati a "benchmark" for new cities and a centre for economic growth.
“Singapore is honoured and privileged to be able to play a part in Amaravati's evolving story. Much work now lies ahead for the government and people of Andhra to build world-class infrastructure, and implement economic and social policies to attract investors from India and overseas in order to realise the vision of a strong and sustainable economy and city in Amaravati," said Mr Iswaran.
Singapore companies have created three key plans for the new capital. They include lots of green spaces, high-rise commercial and residential buildings and low-rise government offices. Construction of government buildings is scheduled to start in 2016.
Mr Modi yesterday noted the challenge facing the Andhra government in creating a brand-new city. "Very few new capitals or towns have been built after Independence, but that inhibition must end. We must look towards urbanisation with sustainability, without looking at it as a problem, but as an opportunity," he said, after making urban infrastructure a priority and launched a scheme in June to create 100 new cities.
"Much work now lies ahead for the government and people of Andhra to build world-class infrastructure, and implement economic and social policies to attract investors from India and overseas in order to realise the vision of a strong and sustainable economy and city in Amaravati," said Mr Iswaran.
Singapore's involvement was formalised after the Republic and Andhra Pradesh signed a memorandum of understanding in December last year for Surbana Jurong to prepare master plans covering 16.9 sq km. Building infrastructure in the capital city project could cost about one trillion rupees (S$21.4 billion).
In the US about 300,000 ‘e-bricks’ were purchased by Telugu Non Residence Indians (NRIs) in a single day to contribute to the construction of Andra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati announced IT Minister Palle Raghunathan Reddy.
Each ‘e-brick’ is prices at Rs. 10. The NRI’s based in North America participated in the ‘e-brick’ scheme which was introduced to promote particiapton of people in the development of the capital.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for Amaravati on the 22nd of October.