Singapore delivers phase one of masterplan for new capital city for India's Andhra Pradesh

SINGAPORE - Singapore on Monday delivered to Andhra Pradesh phase one of the masterplan for the Indian state's new capital city, marking a big step forward in the project partnership.

The 7,235 sq km capital region plan is the first of a three-stage masterplan designed by Surbana International Consultants and Jurong Consultants, in collaboration with Andhra officials.

The plan to build Andhra's new capital comes about after India's 29th state, Telangana, was carved out of Andhra last year.

The current capital of Andhra, Hyderabad - a city of high-tech industries that includes Google and Microsoft - is now shared by the two states for the next 10 years.

After that Andhra will need a new capital, as Hyderabad is geographically situated within Telangana.

The yet unnamed capital city will be built on swathes of farming and non-farm land, in the Guntur-Vijayawada region, and will be built from scratch in a unique collaboration between the two countries.

The Andhra government has started the process to acquire land from around 10,000 landowners to build the city along both banks of the Krishna River.

Land acquisition is often the most difficult part of big infrastructure projects in India and the state's swift move underscores the urgency with which it is treating the project.

The phase one masterplan delivered on Monday identifies long-term economic positioning of the exisiting towns and cities within the new capital region, a statement by Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said.

The Republic will next deliver the second stage of the masterplan which will be a capital city masterplan for a 220 sq km city. The third phase will be a seed development masterplan for an 8 sq km development.

Visiting Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Second Trade and Industry Minister S. Iswaran on Monday chaired a high-level committee meeting on the project at the MTI.

Mr Naidu is also attending on Monday a business seminar to help companies better understand the project. The seminar is organised by International Enterprise Singapore.

reme@sph.com.sg