Singapore and the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have announced a partnership to master plan and develop the state's new capital city.
Hyderabad is currently the joint capital city of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The latter is India's 29th and newest state, carved out of Andhra Pradesh early this year. Hyderabad will be the common capital for the states for 10 years till Andhra Pradesh creates its own capital city.
The new city will come up in the Guntur-Vijayawada region and is estimated to cost 1 trillion rupees (S$21.36 billion).
International Enterprise Singapore and the Infrastructure Corporation of the Andhra Pradesh government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday night to prepare the master plan for the new capital city. The MOU also covers training of Andhra Pradesh government officials in urban development and governance.
"Singapore is delighted to be Andhra Pradesh's partner in master planning and developing its new capital city and surrounding region," said Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry. He witnessed the signing ceremony along with Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad, which was the capital of Andhra Pradesh state before it was split to form Telangana.
Mr Naidu - who put Hyderabad on the global information technology map by aggressively wooing software majors like Microsoft and Oracle to set up shop in the city - has promised to create another world class city in place of Hyderabad. The first phase of the city, which includes some government, commercial and residential buildings apart from main roads and sanitation facilities, will be complete within five years.
Over 17 villages will make way for the new capital city.
Under the MOU, Singapore will create the master plan for the city and its surroundings, starting with the construction of the first 8 square km section by a Singapore master developer and various Andhra Pradesh state departments, a release from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Monday.
The Centre for Liveable Cities and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise will also help Andhra Pradesh by providing training programmes for state government officials who will be involved in the development of the capital city.
Mr Iswaran said that the new capital city was an example of how Singapore and India could push their bilateral relationship forward.
"This partnership is also an excellent example of how Singapore and Singapore companies can seize opportunities and contribute our expertise in urban planning, development and governance to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to develop Smart Cities for India," he said.