History repeated itself after 18 centuries on Thursday when the foundation stone for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Uddandarayunipalem along with Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and his Telengana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao. Here are top 10 things to know about the futuristic ‘Amaravati’ city:
1. Home to the much-worshipped north flowing river Krishna, the new capital is set to complete the first phase of development by 2018.
2. Famous for the stupa of Dhyana Buddha dating back to the times of Emperor Ashoka, Amaravati, formerly known as Andhra Nagari, is spread across 16.9 sq. km. The ancient capital of the Satavahana kings, Amaravati, has been neglected for ages despite its glorious past.
3. Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, is set to be an amalgamation of ‘navratnas’- knowledge city, financial city, health city, tourism city, government city, sports city, electronics city, justice city and education city.
4. The decision to give the ancient city back its status of being the capital began back in July last year soon after the state of Telangana came into existence, leaving Andhra Pradesh with 13 districts. It was only after N. Chandrababu Naidu became the chief minister for the third time that the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet decided the capital of the new state must be near Vijayawada. Chandrababu Naidu, linking the state’s future to the region’s Buddhist past, named Amaravati as the new capital in March 2015.
5. Andhra Pradesh govt, through its theme song, invited people to contribute for the capital’s development. It garnered more than Rs 3 crore though the ‘My Brick My Amaravati’ online initiative, in which one brick costs Rs 10.
6. In his preparation for today’s event, N Chandrababu Naidu sprinkled holy water and soil collected from several sacred religious places across the globe all over the new capital area, Amaravati, from a helicopter on Wednesday. The water and soil was also brought from several holy places around the world, including Mecca, Jerusalem, Manasarovar and Bangaru Bavi in Tirumala.
7. Every religion and faith was involved in this historic event. The soil and water from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Vaishnodevi Temple and Ajmer Dargah were collected. The special ‘putta mannu’ (ant-hill soil) was collected from 13,000 villages and 3,000 wards in the state.
8. The new capital is set on a path to development with projects lined up for the Krishna and Guntur districts, which constitute the Andhra Pradesh capital region. It is mainly due to their location in Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Chennai industrial corridors that are being funded to a large extent by Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank.
9. As per the Capital Region Master Plan, pharmaceuticals, integrated textiles and cement plants have been identified as growth drivers for Guntur district and integrated textiles and petrochemicals for Krishna. Besides, both districts are chosen for development of food processing parks and smart industrial townships.
10. Visakhapatnam-Kakinada and Chittoor-Nellore areas have so far attracted huge investments and are better placed to continue their predominance apparently because of the presence of vibrant seaports at Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram in Visakhapatnam district, Kakinada in East Godavari and Krishnapatnam in Nellore district.