Amravati : A Floundering Dream

One of the most ambitious  projects in post independence era , creation of Amravati – new capital city for Andhra Pradesh located on  banks of Krishana river, south of Vijayawada is turning out to be a saga of  floundering dream.

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More than ten times larger than Chandigarh, the last great city built in independent India, creation of Amravati should have  been demonstration of India’s technical, economic and management capabilities in 21st century. However the enthusiasm & effort has progressed into creation of a  monument, instead of a contemporary liveable city reflecting democratic values and  civic aspirations of common people.

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Spread over almost 35,000 hectares of fertile, irrigated land along  banks of Krishna river, this mammoth enterprise is a classic example of misplaced priorities with focus more on creation of  exotic visual  imagery , monumental architectural forms  at the expense of comprehensive understanding & planning of key socio-economic, environmental and physical  needs of people and the place.   Bereft of any relationship with  its socio-cultural or  environmental context and economic realities, plan for the new capital is  a assortment of seductive visual impressions of synthetic architectural envelope.

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Cities  are not built in day, nor can they be planned in year.  Regardless of  noteworthy commitment and effort exhibited by concerned authorities, creation of Amravati so far has been a case of passion without purpose, and effort without vision.  Unless addressed urgently, Amravati may soon become yet another misadventure and a medium for political glorification. With little relevance to the context and short on content, the fundamental issues of  creating  a vast green field city are just starting to emerge.  History repeats itself , but unfortunately  in India it does so with greater frequency.

 

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