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World-class event awaits world-class Amaravati

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Andhra Pradesh government is planning to organize the foundation stone laying ceremony for construction of new capital Amaravati as world class and spectacular event that goes down in history of Andhra Pradesh history a land mark. The CRDA has invited bids from globally reputed event managing organizations to publicize the event globally and organize it in a memorable way.

” International and national dignitaries will participate in this event along with public of around 50000 people. It is proposed to conduct various events culminating in the ceremony to facilitate the feeling of celebrations. The event is proposed in the new Capital City on an open land of 50 acres,” a notification issued for the purpose said.

The foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of Amaravati will be held on 22nd October 2015 and Prime Minister Modi will be the chief guest. Prime Ministers of Japan and Singapore are expected grace the occasion.

The CRDS said , “the aspiration is to create a people’s capital that is vibrant, diverse, inclusive and modern which is not only a glowing pride for all the people of Andhra Pradesh but also a magnet for skilled migrants, industries, business and professionals from across the world. It would synthesize the best features of urban planning, sustainability and effective governance to create an inclusive, highly liveable and world-class urban ecosystem.”

In order to execute and conduct the event in a smooth and spectacular manner, APCRDA wants the services of an Event Management Agency for publicizing, planning and executing the event on Vijaya Dasami day.

According to Capital Region Development Authority, the exercise should lead to the creation of an encouraging environment in the public in the region and increase the appreciation of the New Capital City in the world. Promotional videos on the event and on Amaravati are expected to be made and publicized through various channels for this purpose. Apart from 50,000 people government is expecting 1000 VIPs and MIPs.

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Naidu to invite S’pore PM to Amaravati ceremony

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Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu will extend official invitation to the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh on October 22nd.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu along with the delegation of ministers and officials will visit the island nation on September 21st and 22nd.

On the first day , chief minister will participate in a commercial meeting at Science Park with a Singapore Consortium and later, meet Minister Iswaran for lunch and discuss on the Swiss Challenge Method for Amaravati Development.

In the evening, the CM will deliver a lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) which will be moderated by Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, Special Envoy to Andhra Pradesh and then attend the dinner hosted by the Singapore consortium.

On the second day, the Chief Minister along with the government delegation will visit the Singapore City Gallery and get an overview of the key physical features such as residential, industrial, commercial areas, airbases, reservoirs etc of the City. He will also review the planning for the Civic district, Marina Bay and also study the Concept Plan and the Master Plan.

The visit to Singapore City Gallery will also include planning for green and blue spaces, recreation spaces, island-wide water catchment, waste management, integration of land use plans with public transport networks and conservation planning.

Before wrapping up his 2-day visit, he will visit three townships :
1. Kallang-Bendemeer Region (Sports hub)
2. Changi Business Park Region (Aviation hub)
3. One-North Region (R&D, Knowledge hub)

During the visit to townships, the Chief Minister will understand different stages of integrated townships and how the Seed Development Area could potentially evolve from lower density, high-tech industry business spaces to higher density, high-end office-business park spaces. He will leave Singapore on September 22nd evening.

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Naidu’s third S’pore trip to cost Rs 63 lakh

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Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is leaving for Singapore on four day tour on September 20, to have further consultations with Singapore government on the development of Amaravati, the emergent capital of Andhra Pradesh.His trip is costing Rs 63 lakh to the exchequer. External affairs ministry had conveyed it’s no objection to the trip from the political angle, yesterday.

This is Chief minister’s third trip to Singapore on the same purpose. Normally, once an agreement is reached at the political level, rest is left to the officials and experts. But, Naidu is not allowing anybody’s view creep into the capital project. He is ensuring that his and only his signature is burned into his dream project of world class capital. The other man who can peep into his design is municipal administration minister Narayana. Anybody who contests this would be shunted out of department of municipal administration and urban development. In the past 15 months, two upright principal secretaries have been shown the door.

The CM himself is overseeing every aspect of the Capital development- which earned him a moniker of ‘CM of CRDA’. He is participating in every meeting connected to the capital. On one side Naidu visits Singapore regularly, on the other, the city state is also reciprocating this by sending her ministers to Andhra Pradesh with equal regularity.

This time round, Naidu is going with a 12-member team which include Y Ramakrishnudu, (finance ),P Narayana (municipal administration), Parakala Prabhakar (advisor, communications ) SP Tucker(special chief secretary, planning), PV Ramesh Babju (principal secretary, finance), Satish Chandra( Principal secretary to CM), Ajay Jain (principal secretary, energy), Rawat Shamsher Sigh (secretary, industries) and N Srikanth (commissioner,CRDA).

According to sources in the government, Naidu’s trip is meant to discuss the appointment of principal developer and chief architect etc. He wants to finalize the developer and architect capital project before the October 22, when PM Narendra Modi is expected to lay foundation stone for the capital construction.

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Donations pour in for Amaravati construction

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When some farmers are opposing the proposed inclusion of their villages in the Amaravati capital region, other are liberally extending cooperation to the massive project of construction of world class capital by Andhra government. Farmers of Tullur village in Amaravati capital region today donated Rs 3, 52,675 to capital development committee. A group of farmers today met chief minister Chandrababu Naidu at his camp office in Vijayawada to handover the cheque. They said this was the money they got as rents for their properties. They also announced a donation of Rs 60 lakh to the capital development in near future. They said as they were going to get more money due to the increase in rents in region, they had decided to donate the whole amount they would get to the capital construction.

This is the farmers’ response to the call given by chief minister Naidu for donations for the construction of the capital. Naidu exhorted people to donate at the rate of a brick or equivalent worth money per family to the development of capital . According to Naidu, this is a symbolic participation of the people in the what the calls a “people’s capital of Andhra Pradesh”.

Farmers who met the CM were Kadiyala Vamsikrishna, Vellanki Srinivas Satyaprasad, Kondreddy Venkata Satyanarayana, Suryaprbhakar. Chief minister, while appreciating the gesture of farmers from capital region, said despite the roadblocks created by critics of Amaravati, the development of the capital was going ahead. ” October 22, when the foundation stone will be laid for the new capital by PM Modi, will go down in the history as water mark for the Telugu people,” he said, calling upon people to come forward with donations in order to participate in the capital construction.

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Amaravati will be free of casino and race course

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Though chief minister Chandrababu Naidu plans to build new capital Amaravati into a world-class city, it would be free of casinos and race-course. This was made clear by finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu today in Assembly when BJP member suggested that government should consider setting up casinos in Amaravati. Even though casinos and race-clubs help shore up revenues, there was no proposal to set up casinos in new capital, the minister said.

According to Vishnukumar Raju, several people from Visakhapatnam and Godavari districts often go outside the state to play and place bets in casinos in Goa and Sri Lanka. Government should think of establishing casinos, horse racing clubs in the Amaravati to make city an entertainment centre as well.

“If Casinos are set up in the State itself, government can earn revenue from these centres in the form of taxes”, P. Vishnukumar Raju said participating in a discussion on the amendment to AP (Telangana Area) Horse Racing and Betting Tax Regulation.

The Finance Minister however responded that there was no proposal now to set up casinos.

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Yanamala provokes sharp retort from Pawan

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‘Power-star’ Pawan Kalyan announced that he was descending down from twitter to the farm lands of Betapudi, Penumaka and Undavalli. He tweeted he was going to meet the farmers of these villages and other villages in the catchment area of River Krishan.

The actor, however, expressed dismay at the sarcastic remarks of finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and said the minister heckled his efforts to carry forward the cause of the farmers instead of responding with wisdom.

Pressed to the wall, Pawan has given a fitting retort to finance minister, who tried to defend government acquisition of fertile and multi-crop lands for the purpose capital construction.

While Pawan is for sparing these lands from being acquired as they are uniquely fertile, finance minister argues, if you want development you need to bear the loss. By comparing the development of Film city in Hyderabad with development of Capital city in Guntur district, Finance minister, pushed the wrong button in his enthusiasm by stating that government collected lands from farmers and assigned them to film industry in Jubillee Hills.

Pawan cried foul. He said the lands given to the film industry were no way comparable to the lands of Betapudi, Vundavalli and Penumaka, where three crops were raised.

“Finance minister may not be knowing that the lands assigned to the cinema industry in Hyderabad were hillocks and not the fertile farm lands,” he tweeted.

He said, ” If we know in advance that what is being built is heaven, we can tell if it is a heaven or a suspended misery between earth and sky.”

He clarified he had no studios on the hills of either Hyderabad or Vizag.

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CRDA pack of lies to hide green massacre

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The state government, which is facing many cases with regard to the destruction of multi-cropped areas to make room for construction of capital Amaravati, has placed a pack of lies before the National Green Tribunal stating that the total sown area in Amaravati capital region is negligible and would not have any adverse impact on the food security of AP or the nation.

Responding to NGT notices, Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) commissioner N Srikanth reportedly informed the Tribunal that the area under cultivation in the capital is just 0.027 percent of the total sown area in the state during kharif last year. The extent of paddy cultivation is mere 0.077 percent of the total paddy cultivable area in AP.

According to Sri Kantah, the argument that the construction of capital was being taken up at the cost vibrant agricultural economy. The total sown area in the proposed capital last year was around 11,242 hectares of which paddy was cultivated in just 1,266 hectares, he added.

And there was no reference to the contentious multi-crop land that is being acquired now which Jana Sena president and movie star Pawan Kalyan is also opposing. Incidentally, CRDA chief Srikanth’s assertion is based on the revenue records of 1908.
Agriculture in Amaravati region

Professor Chigurupati Ramachandraiah contradicts:

Chigurupati Ramachandraiah, an eminent professor from Centre for Economics and Social Sciences (CESS), Hyderabad, contradicted the argument of CRDA.

” This is an attempt to reduce the whole cultivation in the fertile region into insignificant percentages of state/national level figures in food production. I wish the National Green Tribunal sees through the game and calls his bluff,” Ramachandraiah said.

He appealed to TDP supporters that, “a government which tells lies and cheats the courts today cannot tell the truth tomorrow, and set high standards in public life for future generations. This is not a party (or, worse, caste) affair.”

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Yanamala’s poser to Pawan Kalyan

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Andhra Pradesh finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu dismissed Jana Sena president and movie star Pawan Kalyan’s request to spare certain lands from being acquired for new capital Amaravati construction as impracticable.

Yanamala, an astute politician, unambiguously asked Pawan to suggest an alternative way to get the lands acquired from the farmers for any developmental project.

In his last ditch attempt ostensibly to save the multi-cropped lands from Krisnhna River front villages for Amaravati construction, Pawan urged chief minister Chandrababu Naidu to spare three village Betapudi, Penumaka and Undavalli from being acquired for capital purpose.

“Land acquisition Act is the only legal instrument the government can acquire the land from public for any developmental work. I would like to know from Pawan if he had any alternative process in mind. We will certainly follow if he suggests any better methodology,” the ministers asked.

Talking about how Film Industry was accommodated in Hyderabad, Yanamala said, the government acquired the lands from the farmers and assigned them to the industry people.

“Lands are essential for the development of the state. When you need development, it is impossible to stop acquiring the lands. In the case of development of Amaravati, the lands Pawan had referred to are located at the centre of the capital region . Is practicable to spare these lands,” the finance minister asked.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Spare these villages, Sri CM garu: Pawan’s last ditch tweet

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With state government hell bent on acquiring the land from multi-cropped villages for the development of new capital Amaravati on the banks of River Krishna, Jana Sena president and movie star Pawan Kalyan once again, in a last ditch attempt, tweeted to urge the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu against taking over these uniquely fertile lands for the capital construction.

This time Pawan grudgingly approved the bitter truth that if one area is to be developed, invariably the other areas would have to bear the brunt, he said alluding to the loss being incurred to the villages who are opposed to offer their land to the Capital City project of Andhra Pradesh.He, however, urged the CM to ensure that the damage to the “other” is minimal.

Pawan, who visited these villages some time back to express his solidarity, has been urging the state government to spare these multi-cropped villages from the capital project. Pawan, instead of working for these people on the ground , chose a painless path of twitter to voice his concern in support of the farmers of Penumaka, Undavalli and Betapudi. On Wednesday he tweeted his support to the farmers.

“I urge Hon’ble CM of AP Sri CBN garu not to Use ‘Land acquisition act’ on Fertile Multi cropped Lands of Undavalli,Penumaka,Bethapudi..& other River front villages,” he said.

“The price of Development of one area r one group always results in environmental pollution, displacement & disgruntlement of another group. This is the very nature of civilisation. But development with least damage possible completely lies in the wisdom of rulers,” Pawan said.

It may be recalled that Municipal minister P Narayana revealed two days ago that government was planning acquire the final phase acquisition of land to the extent of 220 acres by the end of this month invoking the provisions of Land Acquisition Act.

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Amaravati to become Istanbul of East

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Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu instructed officials to prepare plans for the development of proposed new capital on the banks of river Krishna as an important tourist destination in the world like Istanbul. Last week he was in ancient city and studied the Turkish city’s dramatic growth in tourism which surpassed many world leaders such as New York, Singapore, Dubai etc.

Upon arrival from Istanbul, Naidu convened a meeting of the advisory committee that is looking after  the construction of Amaravathi. The Chief Minister seems to have greatly impressed by the phenomenal growth of tourism there. Naidu, who wants to build a capital for Andhra Pradesh that would be globally attractive for tourists and investors equally. In the meeting  Naidu said he wants river front Amaravati to resemble Istanbul, which is separated by Bosphorus strait in to Asian and European parts.

“Recalling his recent visit to Istanbul, the Chief Minister lauded the Turkey government’s efforts in utilizing advanced technology to develop the city as a modern one in just seven years. He added that Istanbul, with a population of 2 crore, is emerging as the fastest growing city in the world,” Chief Minister’s Office said in a press note.

Naidu is modelling the city borrowing several features from various modern cities like Tokyo, and Singapore in East. Now, he is looking westward. He seems to have found that Istanbul’s tourism is best in the world. Just see at the growth of the Istanbul which is faster than Paris. In terms of international tourists,Istanbul has outpaced New York and Singapore to become fifth most visited city in the world. The city’s projected visitor in 2015 are 12.56 million.

Growth-wise, the city reported strongest growth at 11.4 percent, catapulting from its seventh position previous year to fifth by international overnight visitors. Both Bangkok and Dubai are trailing at 8 per cent, of course second after Istanbul. Istanbul, where one could see both ancient and modern cultures eo-exist, was built by Greeks as Byzantium in 700 BC. A key hub on Silk Road then, Istanbul benefited from its geographical location also. This is exactly how Andhra Pradesh chief minister wants to re-position Amaravati in world trade map.

Naidu’s objective is to make Andhra Pradesh with its 900 km-long coastline, the global hub in sea and air routes and also make it a meeting point of East and West technological development.

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Giridhar IAS : Second Casualty of Capital Politics

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Aramane Giridhar, one of the able administrators and known for integrity and straightforwardness, has been shifted from Municipal administration and Urban development (MA&UD) to sleepy APPSC as secretary.

According to grapevine, Giridhar is said have opposed to the way things are moving in the development of Amaravati, the new  capital emerging on the banks of River Krishna in Guntur district as multi-billion dollar business venture.

As he did not want himself to be  party to the controversial decisions of the government, Giridhar went on leave which finally culminated in his  shifting to APPSC, where, the government thinks,  he could not work at purposes with the political bosses as the government has no plans notify  the jobs in near future.

The talk in the corridors of power is that Giridhar, an alumnus of JNTU Anantapur, fall prey to capital politics, solely controlled by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and MA&UD minister P Narayana. While chief minister is at the helm of affairs of Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), Narayana is the field commander. Narayana has got  N Srikanth, a relatively junior officer  appointed as the commissioner for CRDA, who started ignoring Principal Secretary MA& UD,  joining hands with the minister.

Giridhar is the second officer to be shunted out of MA&UD for being too much pesky about abiding by the rules in the matters of Amaravati Construction, the first being D Samasiva Rao, who was shown the door, a bit honorably, as  TTD  executive officer,  when his political boss Narayana found him not compatible to the objectives he was pursuing. Narayana, a education-businessman turned politician, is the most influential minister in the cabinet after the CM.

For Giridhar, a 1998 batch IAS officer, this is the second transfer in the past seven months.

Opposing government decision that harm national interests and benefit corporate companies is not new to Giridhar. When in union ministry of petroleum and natural gas  as joint secretary, Giridhar rattled the UPA government by taking on the powerful Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). At that time he was enjoying the confidence of his  minister S Jaipal Reddy. Both Reddy and Giridhar held Mukesh Ambani-Controlled RIL responsible for the shortfall in the production and failure to fully implement the field development program in the Krishna Godavari Basin’s D6 block.  The fall out- first  Jaipal Reddy was replaced by N Veerappa Moily as Petroleum minister. Second,   Moily upon assuming office as petroleum minister immediately stripped Girdhar of  the sensitive responsibility of gas pricing in August 2013. The subject was transferred to somebody who lacked domain knowledge. Hell broke loose. The entire Opposition  screamed  blue murder and alleged that Giridhar was divested of sensitive subject only to placate RIL . Even the secretary concerned also opposed Moily’s unilateral decision to reshuffle subjects of joint secretaries.   But after elections, Naidu brought Giridhar back to Andhra Pradesh as chief minister’s principal secretary. Little did Naidu think that one day Giridhar would become a thorn in his flesh as well. Naidu and Narayana soon found that Giridhar was at odds with their interests. A charge that he was not entertaining TDP politicians in CMO had been leveled. Later he was shifted out of CMO to MA&UD.

Sources said Giridhas was again planning to go to New Delhi on deputation.

Would he find peace in Modi’s New Delhi, where corporate companies are treated as Gods of future India?

 

 

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After fertile lands, now forest : Casualties of Amaravati

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The Andhra Pradesh government is all set to cut down an extent of 43,000 acres of forest near Vijayawada-Guntur districts to make room for the proposed mega city of Amaravati which is expected to outdo all other metros in India.

The irony  is that this is happening days after launching of a massive campaign across the State to plant saplings to improve green cover in Andhra Pradesh,

Already there is a lot of resentment  over the way about  35,000 acres of fertile agricultural lands on the banks of river Krihna were being destroyed for the capital development, the government has now decided to use forest land in Krishna, West Godavari and Guntur districts for the same purpose.

This was disclosed by none other than Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu himself soon after the master plan of the seed capital was presented  to him in Rajahmundry  by the Singapore team on Monday.

“The Centre has agreed to our request to de-notify the forest land to an extent of 43,000 acres near the proposed capital city to use for the requirements of the new capital. This means, apart from the 33,000 acres of land procured around Tullur from local farmers, even this 43,000 acres of land will be used to construct world-class Amaravati city,” Naidu said.

The Chief Minister’s dream city might turn the new capital region into a concrete jungle, and of course with some green patches like parks here and there.

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AP Seed capital Amaravati representational pictures

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Pictures of AP Seed Capital in Amaravati

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