Amaravati was ex-Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu's ambitious project. Rs 45,000 crore has already been spent on building the mega city but Jagan Reddy has put a spanner in the works
“Work on buildings that are 25 per cent complete has been stopped. Only those structures which are past the 75-per-cent completion mark have been allowed to proceed,” admits a supervisor of a leading construction company. “But contractors themselves slowed the pace of work after the change of government. Many chose not to replenish their stocks until pending bills were cleared. A few have sent the casual labourers they employed back to their homes in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.”
Clouds of uncertainty hover over Naidu’s dream venture. Amaravati could become a ghost town unless Jagan opts to put his muscle behind the project despite it being his political rival’s brainchild. The megacity has already swallowed nearly Rs 45,000 crore of its projected overall cost of Rs 1.09 lakh crore. With so much public money already invested in Amaravati and the state needing a new capital, Jagan has reasons to see through its completion.
The signs, however, point in the other direction. The demolition of Praja Vedika and the decision to review Naidu’s power purchase agreements with solar energy firms are clear pointers that the chief minister is on a confrontational path and Amaravati could end up as a collateral victim of the political battle.
The official line is that Jagan has not yet red-flagged Amaravati.