Speaking Of Asia: Amaravati plans still more dream than reality

Singapore can shrug off the consequences of Amaravati, the proposed capital city, not proceeding to plan but India, and specifically Andhra, needs to ponder the long-term consequences.

In the summer of 2008, the late pharma tycoon Anji Reddy, an industry icon of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh who seeded the Hyderabad-based generics drugs sector, drove me to the residence of Mr Chandrababu Naidu, then as now forced to sit in opposition after losing his majority in the state assembly.

Spread on his office table were detailed drawings of the modern international airport that was being built in Shamsabad, on the outskirts of state capital Hyderabad. The project had been conceived by Mr Naidu, in his second term as chief minister of the province. However, most of its execution fell to the Congress-led government of Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, a man of hugely populist instincts known to all as "YSR".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2019, with the headline 'Amaravati plans still more dream than reality'. Print Edition | Subscribe