Amaravati is the proposed riverfront capital city of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the southern banks of the River Krishna in Guntur and Krishna districts. The new city will cover an area of 217.23 sq. km., within the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region. The foundation stone of the planned city was laid at Uddandarayunipalem village of Guntur district by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 October 2015. The cities of Guntur and Vijayawada are the major suburbs of the city.
According to the Centre's estimates, construction of the new AP capital Amaravati will cost Rs. 27,000 crore. As of December 2015, the Centre has released Rs. 1500 crore towards creation of infrastructure and construction of government buildings.
The foundation stone laying ceremony of Amaravati was held on October 22, 2015. The State government has organized the ceremony on a grand scale. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has invited Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the event. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Union Ministers and foreign dignitaries were also invited. The function was organized in several acres at Uddandarayunipalem.
Famed art curator and scenographer Rajeev Sethi was entrusted with the responsibility of stage and audience enclosures. According to sources, Rajeev Sethi has suggested a sunrise backdrop be used on the stage depicting ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ theme. Arts and crafts will also be exhibited at the ceremony to showcase the rich culture and heritage of Andhra Pradesh.
Sankalp Jyoti and Mana Neeru - Mana Matti
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was eager to involve people of the state in the capital building program. He has instructed the Ministers and officials to start two drives - Sankalp Jyothi and Mana Neeru - Mana Matti. In the Mana Neeru - Mana Matti program, people collectively carry village soil and water in procession and will hand them over to their counterparts at mandal level. They in turn will pass on the same to district-level counterparts. The water and soil will finally reach Amaravati.
Chandrababu Naidu has personally invited Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to the foundation laying ceremony of Amaravati. On 18 October 2015, Chandrababu drove to KCR’s residence and extended the invitation personally. The meeting lasted for 50 minutes. Chandrababu presented a shawl and Tirumala laddu to KCR. KCR told Chandrababu that he would attend the ceremony. The duo have also discussed inter-linking of rivers and power situation in both the states. The meeting was said to be held in a cordial atmosphere. Following the meeting with KCR, Chandrababu drove to Raj Bhavan and invited the Governor to the ceremony.
The Andhra Pradesh State Government has initiated a number of publicity drives to promote Amaravati. Some of the programmes are My Brick My Amaravati, the grand foundation stone laying ceremony etc.
On 24 December 2015, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has approved the revised master plan of Amaravati. As per the master plan, the total capital city area is 217 sq. km in 25 revenue villages.
The CRDA, on 26 December 2015, has issued the notification for the detailed master plan for Amaravati. Objections would be received till 31 January 2016.
Amaravati will have nine economic theme cities - Administrative City, Health City, Science City, Education City, Sports City, Justice City, Tourism City, Finance City and Industrial City.
The master plan also proposed grid pattern for roads. Major and minor arterial, collector roads are proposed. Public transportation will is proposed along minor arterial roads.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to select the development partner of Amaravati through the Swiss challenge method. In December 2015, in a major setback to the State government, the Vijay Kelkar committee appointed by Centre to study the system of issuing tenders has opposed the Swiss Challenge method. The committee supported the public private partnership system, but said this should be revisited and revitalised. Several senior AP officers are also opposing the State government's decision of opting for the Swiss challenge.