Amravati’s long lost glory to be restored

Amravati, Oct. 22 (ANI): History repeated itself after 18 centuries today when the foundation stone for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amravati was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Uddandarayunipalem.

Famous for the stupa of Dhyana Buddha dating back to the times of Emperor Ashoka, Amravati, formerly known as Andhra Nagari, is spread across 16.9 sq. km. With the foundation stone being laid, the new capital is set to own an amalgamation of ‘navratnas’- knowledge city, financial city, health city, tourism city, government city, sports city, electronics city, justice city and education city.

The decision to give the ancient city back its status of being the capital began back in July last year soon after the state of Telangana came into existence, leaving Andhra Pradesh with 13 districts. It was only after N. Chandrababu Naidu became the chief minister for the third time that the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet decided the capital of the new state must be near Vijayawada.

Chandrababu Naidu, linking the state’s future to the region’s Buddhist past, named Amravati as the new capital in March 2015.

In his preparation for today’s event, he sprinkled holy waters and soil collected from several sacred religious places across the globe all over the new capital area, Amaravati, from a helicopter on Wednesday. The water and soil was also brought from several holy places around the world, including Mecca, Jerusalem, Manasarovar and Bangaru Bavi in Tirumala.

Every religion and faith was involved in this historic event. The soil and water from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Vaishnodevi Temple and Ajmer Dargah were collected. The special ‘putta mannu’ (ant-hill soil) was collected from 13,000 villages and 3,000 wards in the state.

The efforts of Chandrababu Naidu were lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while he also contributed to the collection.

“I have got soil from the temple of democracy, the Parliament complex and water from the Yamuna river,” he said while addressing the gathering at the foundation stone laying ceremony.

The new capital is set on a path to development with projects lined up for the Krishna and Guntur districts, which constitute the Andhra Pradesh capital region. It is mainly due to their location in Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Chennai industrial corridors that are being funded to a large extent by Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank.

As per the Capital Region Master Plan, pharmaceuticals, integrated textiles and cement plants have been identified as growth drivers for Guntur district and integrated textiles and petrochemicals for Krishna. Besides, both districts are chosen for development of food processing parks and smart industrial townships.

Visakhapatnam-Kakinada and Chittoor-Nellore areas have so far attracted huge investments and are better placed to continue their predominance apparently because of the presence of vibrant seaports at Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram in Visakhapatnam district, Kakinada in East Godavari and Krishnapatnam in Nellore district.

The ancient capital of the Satavahana kings, Amravati, has been neglected for ages despite its glorious past. But the state through its theme song invited the people to contribute for the capital’s development. It garnered more than Rs. three crore though the ‘My Brick My Amravati’ online initiative, in which one brick costs Rs. 10.

Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone along with Chandrababu Naidu and his Telengana counterpart K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, the Prime Minister said Amravati was on the way to becoming a people’s capital and added that both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will reach new heights if they work together.

Congratulating the people and the Andhra Pradesh Government for their new capital, Prime Minister Modi said it was an important step forward for the state.

“Today, Andhra Pradesh is taking a very important step. This is on the way to becoming a people’s capital. I congratulate the people and Government of the state,” he said.

“The way N. Chandrababu Naidu took up work on this (new capital) and integrated whatever is best across the world, he must be congratulated,” he added.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to laud the initiative taken up by the Andhra Chief Minister to include his Telangana counterpart.

“When Chandrababu told me about this event, I said, I will surely come. But when I read N. Chandrababu Naidu met Telangana CM and invited him, I was very happy. I congratulate N. Chandrababu Naidu for this,” he said.

“Be it Andhra Pradesh or Telangana, the soul is Telugu. Both states must progress. Both states have the capability to progress. If they work together, they will reach new heights,” he added.

Amidst the celebrations, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M. Karunanidhi greeted the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on the foundation ceremony, wishing the function a grand success.

Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy also took to Twitter to extend his wishes.

“Congratulations Andhra Pradesh for the foundation ceremony of #Amravati, the new capital, by Shri @narendramodi ji. Best wishes to @ncbn,” he wrote.

Home to the worshipped north flowing river Krishna, the new capital is set to complete the first phase of development by 2018. (ANI)

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