The new capital of Andhra Pradesh to come up on the banks of River Krishna will rival the best of cities in the world, if the Core Capital Plan submitted by Singapore is anything to go by. The first representational images of the seed capital of Amaravati show high rises, inland waterway and a well-defined elevated metro corridor, and is planned to be an administrative and financial hub much in the fashion of Singapore, London’s City and New York’s Manhattan.
The Core Capital Region of the new capital city will come up on the Krishna riverfront and spread over 16.9 sq km area. S Iswaram, Singapore Trade and Commerce Minister, along with the visiting delegation, presented the core (seed) capital plan to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Rajahmundry on July 20.
The Seed Capital Area Master Plan is the final of the three-stage Master Plan submitted by the Government of Singapore. The Seed Capital Area Master Plan is for an area of 16.9 sq. kms, on the northern portion of the Capital City. The Seed Capital would be developed in overall 5 phases.
Amaravati is envisaged to be developed as Smart, Green and Sustainable City. In line of being developed as the People’s Capital of Andhra Pradesh, our aspiration is to create a vibrant, diverse, inclusive, and modern city which will be a symbol of pride for the people of Andhra Pradesh and India, the Chief Minister opined.
“My heartfelt thanks to the Government of Singapore for their dedication and fast pace of work. October 22, 2015 has been decided as the day of laying foundation stone for Amaravati. We need to begin ground work from that day.” Amaravati is a project which is being watched by people across India, the Chief Minister expressed.
The Seed Capital Area is planned for about 3 lakh residents. Being developed as a vibrant business hub, a total of about 7 lakh jobs are expected to be created in various sectors including government jobs.
The six key factors taken into consideration for this Master Plan are “providing jobs and homes, world-class infrastructure, quality living, protecting identity and heritage and, resource management and environment.”
Special focus has been laid on 4 important nodes which establish the character of the SEED Development. These key nodes include Amaravati Government Core, Amaravati Downtown, Amaravati Gateway and Amaravati Waterfront.
The government core is probably the most important area of the Capital City. It will house the seat of the state government, which is the very reason for the existence of the capital city. The Amaravati government core houses the Secretariat, Assembly, Raj Bhavan, High Court and other important Government buildings.
The Amaravati Downtown is the commercial heart of the Capital city. The Downtown is designed to be the iconic high-rise development that forms the central core of the SEED area. Spread across 68 Ha, it houses a vibrant mix of commercial offices, IT campuses and hospitality developments. The two parcels on the northern side that face the waterfront will be designed as iconic twin towers.
This area has the best access through public transit. The buildings along the central boulevard are proposed to have no setbacks and active uses such as retail, restaurants, cafes on the ground storey. These will be allowed to spill over on to the walkways in order to create an active building edge. Vehicular access is discouraged along the central boulevard as it is a Major arterial road. This also allows continuity of the active building edges. The buildings are designed to be integrated seamlessly with the MRT stations to allow comfort for the commuters. The landmark towers will be integrated with MRT stations so that commuters can directly access the buildings from the station level.
This node will create the first impression of the Capital City because it forms the gateway to the city and SEED development. It has been designed in a way to create the necessary impact that one needs to feel while entering the Capital City. The bridge is designed in itself to become a symbol of the city to welcome the arrivals. Appropriate parcels have been identified to be developed for the Iconic Gateway towers and to emphasize the grandeur effect of entering the capital city. This has been further enhanced by carefully setting back the building to create a larger green/public space in front of the building that allows one to appreciate the buildings. Covering 45 Ha, it will create the first impression of the Capital City while accessing from the bridge across the river.
The Amaravati waterfront is envisioned as an active public waterfront with city level commercial and recreational uses. Large public buildings are proposed along the waterfront to attract people to the waterfront. In accordance to this, large public spaces have been designed to accommodate these numbers. The buildings and public spaces are designed to barrier free in order to integrate the interiors and exteriors. The ground level of these buildings are encouraged to have direct access from the public spaces. The Amaravati plaza is a grand plaza that will be a multi-purpose space housing activities such as waterfront amphitheaters, traditional street hawkers, etc in order to create an interesting yet compatible mix of activities.
Road Network – Efficient grid
The SEED development is envisioned to be very well connected both within and with the rest of the City. The urban expressway on the eastern edge of the development is the fastest link to Gannavaram Airport from the City. It also connects the development to Vijayawada City. This road marks the main eastern entrance into the SEED area and the Capital City. An iconic gateway bridge is proposed to celebrate this first entrance into the Capital City. This bridge also plays a vital role in defining the City’s skyline and creating a modern identity.
Major Arterial Road Network
Two major arterial roads connect the SEED area to the rest of the city. The arterial road in the west serves as an important road for connecting the Government core to NH9 in the north, and to the new proposed airport in the south.
The mass rapid transit network (MRT) within SEED development is part of the larger city wide MRT network. The MRT station integrated with the iconic towers along the riverfront forms a unique TOD, as it opens up into the Amaravati Plaza. A Bus Rapid Transit is proposed with the SEED development as a feeder system to the MRT lines. The BRT loop thus taps on the MRT stations.
Botanical garden, covering 101 Ha, is meant to be a City park where various fauna & flora of the state could be showcased. It can be easily accessed by MRT and bus within 5-10 minute walking distance.
Wetland park is proposed to maintain the natural beauty of the waterfront. Occupying 52 ha, it is imagined to be a natural public realm where passive community activities like camping, barbecue, jogging and bicycling are possible.
Amaravati Plaza is proposed as one of the main destinations along the waterfront and is also the termination of the Central Boulevard. Krishna Waterfront is where most of the activities are concentrated. The plaza occupies 8 ha, and also provides for a foreground for the iconic towers and the downtown core.
Ghats are proposed celebrating the Krishna edge giving a unique identity to the river.
As the SEED development area houses the Capital city’s downtown and administrative government core, special land has been allocated for a number of city level public amenities including: International level Indoor stadium, Iconic City gallery, Performance venue, International Convention centre, Regional Hospital, a state level university and other higher education institutions, Botanical gardens, Golf course & other large city parks.
These facilities will make the downtown a vibrant destination for the city residents.
Town and neighbourhood level amenities
The plan also safeguards land for town and neighbourhood level civic facilities, including: 16 Ha of land is proposed for primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges, 332 Ha of mixed use developments which will include small crutches, learning schools, community halls, grocery stores, etc.
Landmarks are proposed to create an identity and sense of place within SEED development.
Assembly and Secretariat: The two functions are proposed within one landmark complex that creates the main image of Amaravati City. This building cluster has been strategically positioned to represent the State Government headquarters. It offers unencumbered views of the Krishna river to the north, the Neerukonda hill to the south along the north-south ceremonial axis.
City Gallery: A gallery is proposed showcasing the development history and the heritage of the City. This occupies the nothern tip of the ceremonial government axis and also will become one of the gateway developments when the bridge to west of the SEED development comes up.
Convention Center, Indoor Sports Center, Arts & Cultural Center, Performing Arts Center: Few of these nodal buildings are proposed as terminations of the central and most important section of the waterfront. They help in structuring the SEED development and concentrating the focus and importance of public uses on the waterfront. Iconic Towers: The two buildings along the central boulevard abutting the Amaravati Plaza are proposed as the iconic twin towers that will help create a modern image for Amaravati. These will be the tallest buildings in the City.
Gateway Bridge and Commercial: The first bridge that will be constructed and become the gateway to the new capital city is the one on the eastern edge of SEED development.
To provide and enhance mobility and accessibility to the citizens, the master plan provides a transport hierarchy that comprises of an integrated network of metro rail network of about 12 kms, bus rapid transit of about 15 kms, downtown road of about 7 km, arterial roads and sub-arterial roads of about 26 kms and collector roads of about 53 kms, with varying broad right-of-ways.
Special emphasis has been laid to enhance development of extensive walkways and pedestrianisation interlinked with open and green spaces with a blue and green network of more than 25 kms to promote walk-to-work environment and non-motorised transport.
The Seed capital conserves more than 40% of the green areas and the blue areas in the seed capital sprawl over 50% of the Seed Capital.
The Seed Development Phase 1 is estimated to be completed by mid 2018. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said he had asked the Singapore government to join the ‘Amaravati Development Partnership’ under the Swiss challenge method for seed capital development in a long-term association.
S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, said, “This is where the beginnings of a great city will be established and Singapore is honored to play a small part through the master plans for Amaravati. However, our partnership with Andhra Pradesh will begin from this point by assisting them in the development of capital city. We will continue to collaborate on development of Amaravati.”
Singapore Developers likely to bid
Two of Singapore’s township developers are likely to bid for projects to develop Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city, Amaravati. Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development have expressed interest in building the city project.
“We will study the master plan… when it is available, to identify areas where we could potentially participate in and contribute our expertise in urban development.” Manohar Khiatani, Deputy Chief Executive of Ascendas-Singbridge, was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.
“India has always been a key market for Ascendas-Singbridge and Andhra Pradesh is an exciting chance for the firm to deepen its presence in India,” Khiatani said. Iswaran said the master plans have been completed on schedule and Singapore is keen to help the city implement it.
“This collaboration has also opened up more business and investment opportunities in Andhra Pradesh and India for Singapore companies,” The Straits Times quoted S Iswaran, as saying.
The Singapore Minister said the plan envisaged a city which is vibrant and livable and also offers opportunities for economic development and job creation.