Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will lay the foundation stone for the construction of "financial and administrative cities" in Andhra Pradesh's new capital region on October 28, but the very construction of Amaravati seems to have gone back to square one after hitting roadblocks.

 

The Centre has released ₹1,500 crore in the last two years for the construction of the Andhra Pradesh government's new Secretariat, High Court and other buildings in the new capital, but the state has not spent a single rupee so far, though it has been seeking the release of more funds.

 

Jaitley may be laying the foundation stone, but it will be many more months before the actual construction activity starts as the state government has to first finalise the designs for the buildings that are to come up in the administrative city.

 


In June 2015, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had conducted a 'bhoomi pujan' to symbolically launch the works and on October 22, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the actual construction works.

 


Since then, not a single brick has been laid for the development of the capital, except the construction of the Interim Government Complex (temporary Secretariat).


In July last year, agencies of the Singapore government had submitted a masterplan for the development of Amaravati and in March this year, the state government had "approved" the designs submitted by Maki and Associates of Japan for the government buildings in the capital.

 


In June, a Singapore consortium had proposed to build the "start-up" area of the capital as a purely commercial venture under the Swiss Challenge method.

 


Based on that, the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) had invited counter bids in August from other firms for the development of the start-up area, but that ran into legal trouble as the CRDA did not disclose the revenue share offered by the Singapore consortium.

 

After the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad stayed the Swiss Challenge method, the state government on Wednesday finally agreed to cancel the notification and invite fresh tenders.

 

In the meantime, the government also "rejected" the Maki designs for the buildings at the capital and decided to invite fresh designs by issuing a new notification.

 

"We have set a 21-day deadline for the submission of new designs and immediately thereafter, we will start the designs.

 

By the end of December, we will approve the designs and by middle or end of January 2017, we will start the works. Our target is to complete the construction activities in two years," Andhra Pradesh Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana told PTI.