The historic Vijayawada city will soon have a new icon in the form of a City Square that will be built under the Public-Private Partnership initiative at the Swarajya Maidan in the heart of the city.
Guizhou International Investment Corporation of China has designed the City Square that will come up on a five-acre land at an estimated cost of Rs 135 crore.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu approved the design today at a meeting attended by Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Krishna district Collector Babu A, Municipal Commissioner G Veerapandian and representatives of GIIC.
“The City Square will be a jewel in AP’s crown and be a large tourist attraction,” Naidu said on the occasion.
Vijayawada, the second largest city in AP, is currently serving as the “functional capital” of the state.
The proposed City Square will have shopping complexes and a stupa depicting the heritage of the region.
An underground parking lot will also be developed.
The existing Rythu Bazaar (farmers’ market) at Swarajya Maidan will be relocated at Gandhinagar and a new complex built with 350 shops at a cost of Rs 4 crore, according to the district Collector.
The existing government buildings belonging to the water resources department will also be dismantled to make space for the City Square.
As the Swarajya Maidan has been serving as the only large vacant ground in the city for decades, where every public meeting is held besides the annual industrial exhibition, there has been opposition to convert it into a City Square as it deprived the city of “lung space”.
Allaying the apprehension, the Collector said vacant space that would be more than twice as large would be created and could be used for public purposes.