Amaravati: Nearly five years after its bifurcation, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday morning laid the foundation stone for the state’s new permanent secretariat and head of department buildings, which are being constructed in the new capital Amaravati by the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA).
Naidu laid the foundations for the two buildings at Rayapudi village in Guntur district. The Amaravati capital region lies between Guntur and Vijayawada districts. The development comes after many delays thanks to constant changes in design of core buildings such as the high court and assembly, which are part of the ‘government city’ in Amaravati.
“The permanent secretariat complex will be constructed on 41 acres to accommodate 145 departments to enable better efficiency in work flow and interaction between different departments. The built-in area is around 56 lakh sq. feet, with a 1.3 lakh sq. feet parking facility, which can accommodate 4000 cars,” Naidu said after laying the foundation on Thursday morning.
Prior to this, the Andhra Pradesh government had in 2017 also announced that the state high court will be designed after a Buddhist stupa and the legislative assembly after the Kohinoor diamond. Designs for these were submitted by British architecture firm Foster+Partners, which had been appointed as the master architect for Amaravati. However, the idea was later junked.
“The permanent secretariat will have five main towers, housing important buildings such as the secretariat and the high court,” according to an AP CRDA official who did not want to be named. The final designs for the five towers in the government city area in Amaravati were finalised about two months ago by Naidu, he added. “The designs were also changed to include the local Pedana Kalamkari design, which represents the local artisan handicraft of Krishna district. The internal designs will represent this.”
The AP government had announced plans to build a new capital about four years ago after the state’s bifurcation from Telangana, and began shifting to Amaravati from mid-2015 with hardly any infrastructure built in the area. As of now, the secretariat and AP assembly are functioning from a temporary complex comprising five buildings, which house all the state departments as well, at Velagapudi village.
Amaravati’s core city area is being built over 217 sq.km, while the entire capital region is being built over an area of 8,603 sq.km. Of the total 58,000 acres land required to build it, about 36,000 acres are private agricultural land, and over 33,000 acres have already been acquired. The remainder is government land.
According to the website of Foster+Partners, Amaravati’s designs have been “inspired by Lutyens’ New Delhi and New York’s Central Park, a clearly defined green spine runs through its length, providing the foundation of the master plan’s environmental strategy, where at least 60% of the area is occupied by greenery or water”. The designs have also been made to align closely with Vaastu principles.