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The Smart Convergence of Tradition & Modernity
Sadagopan Seshadri
Chief - Content Development, CE - Infrastructure - Environment
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

Embodiment of Smartness Quality in Liv- Amaravathi, the 'city of gods', as the best Satavahanas in the Vijayawada-Guntur re-
ing, Working & Leisure city of the 21st century. In a press interac- gion. About 350 kilometers from Hyderabad,
tion he said, “The capital is not only for ad- Amaravathi is also known as Amaresh-
Amaravathi the new Andhra capital is
ministrative purposes... it should be dyna- varam. The Amareswara Temple in
a grass roots upward development and
mic and also have economic activity.” He Amaravathi houses a massive lingam.
has many promises doing the rounds on
what a magnum opus it is going to be. No also said, “Singapore prepared the master Situated on the banks of the Krishna,
doubt a lot of fan fare has become only nat- plan according to what we have in our mind; the ancient city takes its name from the
ural with any such announcement always by and large the master plan is okay.” Lord Amareswara temple within its pre-
coming being accompanied by 'great pro- So here on, let's take a look at the fac- cincts. It was once also known as 'Dakshina
nouncements as well'; And so it is with tors that will define this new capital in terms Kashi'. (Kashi of the south).
Amaravathi which seems to be going to of tradition history background and plans Reports have it that 'Vastu Balam' and
unravel the 'Smart convergence of Tradi- to blending it with sustainable smart ur- 'Peru Balam' were kept in mind before
tion blended with Modernity, delivering the banism that balances culture retention with finalizing it as the new capital region.
best of both worlds to the citizen. progress & inclusive growth holistically. This erstwhile capital of the Satava-
So it is no surprise that AP Chief Min- hana Dynasty, it is believed to be one of the
Amaravathi - Tradition, History & 'Vastu!
ister Chandrababu Naidu recently said most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in
Amaravathi is the ancient capital of the India. As a tourist destination Amaravathi

that the government will focus on building


is especially famous for housing the larg-

est Stupa in the country, known as the
Mahachaitya Stupa, which was built in the
2nd century. Discovered by a British ar-
cheologist, Colonel Collin Mackenzie in
1797 the Stupa is now a must visit attrac-
tion during a tour to Amaravathi . The Stu-
pa found in this region dates back to the
times of Emperor Ashoka.
Amaravathi has a wide selection of
many famous Buddhist carvings, murals
and panels. The mounds of Dharankota,
on the west of Amaravathi, Nagarjuna-
konda and Amaravathi together form the
popular Golden Triangle of Buddhism in
Andhra Pradesh.
Amaravathi has a plethora of touches
with Buddhist significance. Legend has it
that Lord Buddha once visited this place.
The same is said of King Ashoka and Chi- Figure A. Amareshwara Temple

nese traveller Hsuan Tsang. development principles. To provide and with open and green spaces with a blue
In a way Figure A & B may well be
enhance mobility and accessibility to the and green network of more than 25 kms
seen as Amaravathi's identity.
citizens, the master plan provides a trans- to promote walktowork environment and
Amaravathi - Smarting Urban Development port hierarchy that comprises of an inte- nonmotorised transport.
grated network of metro rail network of 8. The iconic developments will in-
Amaravathi is being developed through
about 12 kms, bus rapid transit of about 15 clude stateoftheart government complex,
a partnership with the Singapore govern-
kms, downtown road of about 7 km, arte- city gateway, cultural centre, convention
ment. The master plan is being prepared
rial roads and subarterial roads of about centre etc.
by Surbana International Consultants and
26 kms and collector roads of about 53 9. The Seed Capital Area master plan
Jurong Consultants, both Singapore-ba-
kms, with varying broad rightofways. provisions for waste management sys-
sed agencies. Their joint media statement
6. The city being planned on sustain- tems that would enable innovative meth-
embodies the tasks to be carried out by
able development principles, extensive ods for waste collection, transportation,
the two agencies with project stages as
well as deliverables. The inputs by Andhra large open green spaces have been planned treatment and resource recovery such as
government are listed as well. that shall add value to the urban ecosys- Waste-to-Energy, thereby creating a re-
The key highlights of the Seed Capital tem. The landscape would create world sourceful, safe and healthy city.
Area (SCA) Master Plan of the Capital City class aesthetic appeal to make city livable 10. The Seed capital conserves more
which will catalyse the development of and attractive. than 40% of the green areas and the blue
Amaravathi: 7. Special emphasis has been laid to areas in the seed capital sprawl over 50%
enhance development of extensive walk- of the Seed Capital.
1. The Seed Capital Area is planned for ways and pedestrianisation interlinked 11. The Seed Capital Area develop-
about 3 lakh residents. Being developed
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

as a vibrant business hub, a total of about

7 lakh jobs are expected to be created in
various sectors including government jobs.
2. The Seed Capital Area aspiration is
to create a thriving state of the art Central
Business District (CBD) for business and
3. The Seed Capital Area master plan
provides nodes and development corri-
dors from transit oriented development
4. The various zones would comprise
of central business district, residential
townships, institutions, parks and gar-
dens, water bodies, recreational spaces,
water front etc.
5. In line with the Capital City, the Seed
Capital Area is planned on transit oriented

Figure B. Amaravathi - On Buddhist Golden Triangle



Green Plan (Year 2050 and beyond)
The master plan designed by the
Singapore government for AP's new
capital Amaravathi marks 21% of the
total area of 217 sq. km for a green Existing Urban Area
network. It envisages creating 5.6 Proposed Urbanized Area
million jobs in the city and its
environs that will be home to 13.5 Proposed Industrial Zone
million people by 2050. Proposed Airport Area
Urban growth corridors Development Corridor
Central mega city
River Dedicated Freight Corridor
Forest High Speed Rail
Capital city Suburban Rail
Existing key city Proposed HSA \ DFC Station
Key city outside capital Major Railway Station
region boundary
Potential tourism centre Airport
Potential logistic centre Port
Agriculture protection zone 1 National Waterway 4
Agriculture protection zone 2 Barrage
Future city expansion area Agriculture Protection Zone 1
Priority development corridors Agriculture Protection Zone 2
Future Urbanizable Agriculture Land
Ring road / city bypass
National highway State Highway / Major Road
State road National Highway / Expressway
Airport Planning Boundary
Reserve for future airport Capital City Boundary
Port Capital Region Boundary
Planning boundary River

Figure 1. Masterplan Amaravathi Figure 1A. Amaravathi Capital Region 2050 & Beyond

Amaravathi Master plan' as declared by and Vijayawada bypass.(see figure 1, 8,9 &
Vijayawada the planners. 10 as indicative)
The Centre for Liveable Cities and Sin- Gannavaran airport (in Vijayayawada)
City gapore Cooperation Enterprise has begun will be developed into an international air-
to provide capacity development training port. A spanking new airport to be built in
in various areas for Andhra Pradesh gov- Mangalagiri, 20 km away. A third airport is
d ernment officials who will be involved in likely to be constructed in Karnool in
Mangalagiri oa
er Ring R
I nn the development of Amaravathi and the Rayalaseema region.(see figure 1 &1a for
Figure 2. Locational Amaravathi - Masterplan Capital Region. Green & 2050 plans)
The Singapore government has Kakinada-Pondichery canal, Machili-
ment will be implemented on Public Pri-
appointed a diplomat of Indian origin patnam-capital canal, Rajahmundry to
vate Partnership by selecting job creation
Gopinath Pillai as its envoy to Andhra to Badrachalam canal, and Capital to
and investment partner.
oversee the project. The new capital will Nagarjuna Sagar in river Krishna, to be
See Figure 1 &2 Master Plan layout of also incorporate “ideas from Japan”. developed as inland waterways for trans-
the Capital City and figure 3, 4 &5 on Capi- As per the draft master plan, the portation and tourism.(see figure 1,3 & 4)
tal layout view, manmade water bodies/ Amaravathi Capital Region will be spread The Amaravathi capital region, which
fronts and the beach road respectively. across 7,325 sq km. The core capital will has a current population of 5 million, is sla-
See figure 6 depicting investment pockets extend up to 125 sq km and will come up ted to be inhabited by 11 million people by
identified. Master Plans 1(Green) & A (2050 by 2018. The Chandrababu Naidu govern- 2030; and climbing to a 20 million by 2050.
& beyond) show detail plan with legend. ment land acquisition is supposed to be
The Revised Plan - Entrusting Surbana &
The three part Amaravathi master 33,000 acres of land for the new capital.
plan developed by Singapore's Surbana The capital region between Vijayawada
Jurong Private Limited also drew on Sin- and Guntur will include two ring roads a Concept Master plan stage being
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

gapore's expertise and experience in ur- regional expressway, and a 220-km long over, the AP government though had in-
ban planning and governance and project outer regional expressway and several vited global tenders for the revised mas-
execution. See box 1 for 'The 3 part radial roads including capital city bypass ter plan, it withdrew its move on global ten-

Figure 3. Capital View Andhra Pradesh Figure 4. AP Capital Manmade Lake


Mega Business
City & Trade

World Class
Capital City


& Agro
Based Culture,
Industries Literature
& Textiles
Source: Draft presentation on Master planning of AP Capital City prepared by Surbana & Jurong

Figure 5. Amaravathi Beach Road Figure 6. Capital with investment Sites

ders. With this change of mind, it allotted wada to complete the assignment. "Sur- designs for the entire capital city and the
the task for preparing the revised master bana has agreed to prepare the revised capital region. The master plan for the
plan for the state capital, Amaravathi, on draft master plan. We will allot the work to seed capital includes government build-
nomination basis to the Singapore firm, the firm on nomination basis. The process ings and the central business district.
Surbana. will begin soon," said Nagulapalli Srikanth, Singapore has expressed interest to
Now Surbana, one of the two consul- commissioner of the Capital Region Dev- participate in the development of the new
tant firms based in Singapore that had pre- elopment Authority (CRDA). capital. Surbana has agreed to design the
pared three concept master plans for the The Singapore firm took about six mon- revised and detailed master plan for the
capital city, will also come out with the re- ths to prepare the designs for the new capi- new capital. According to officials, a team
vised master plan. This new master plan tal city in association with the CRDA. The of experts from Surbana will also prepare
will contain details about the developed master plan was submitted in July. No the master plan for allotment of devel-
land parcels to be allotted to farmers, who fees were charged for the master plan. oped plots to the farmers, who gave up
hadparticipatedinthelandpoolingscheme. The revised master plan will focus on their land for Amaravathi.
Sources said that experts from the the development of seed capital area cov- Once the revised master plan is ready,
Singapore-based firm will stay in Vijaya- ering 16.9 sq km area. It will also include farmers will know where exactly their com-


Joint Media Statement: Surbana and JURONG International Appointed as Masterplanners for
Andhra Pradesh's New Capital City (12 January 2015)
Andhra Pradesh, India - Surbana International Consultants (Surbana) and identifying potential growth opportunities in jobs and sectors for the client's con-
JURONG International were appointed today as the master planners for the sideration.
Andhra Pradesh (AP) new capital city and surrounding region. The announce-
Stage 2 (Capital City Masterplan): Produce a pragmatic and world class city
ment made by Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Min-
ister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, jointly with AP Chief Minister
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

Chandrababu Naidu, signals the start of AP's development plans. Surbana and JURONG International will propose a Capital City Masterplan for the
capital city spanning over 125 km2. The concept plans will include proposals for
This landmark project will inaugurate the first large-scale international collabo-
water, power and transport infrastructure development, zoning plans to identify
ration between Surbana and JURONG International that will see their combined
specific zones for predominant land use as well as residential density distribu-
expertise in urbanisation and industrial development solutions respectively.
tion. It will also include proposals for locating urban centres, residential, indus-
Both home grown consultants; the team will also pool their knowledge and expe-
trial and mixed use developments.
rience garnered from more than 20 completed projects in India. Drawing from
the Singapore-inspired planning model, we will ensure the Singapore brand Stage 3 (Seed Development Masterplan): Produce a seed development
remains as an international showcase for masterplanning. masterplan with the objective of attracting investments
With over 7,000 km2 of land use for the AP capital region, the urbanisation is pro- The final stage will involve developing a Seed Development Masterplan to detail
jected to impact a population of 49.4 million. The scope of the Capital Region urban design solutions for start-ups and test-bed sites covering an area of about
Plan will progress in three stages: 8 km2. Surbana will propose a mix of industrial and services developments, and
translate into broad land parcels. The plan will also include finer details such as
Stage 1 (Capital Region Plan): Establish a strategic direction
open spaces, pedestrian and traffic circulation.
For the first stage, Surbana and JURONG International will review existing plans
Surbana and JURONG International will work closely with the government of
and data for integration into the planning process. The end goal is to produce an
Andhra Pradesh to deliver a masterplan that meets its economic and social
efficient land use masterplan that incorporates commercial, residential, public
objectives in the years to come. This is one of Surbana's largest concept master
facilities, transport and infrastructure.
plans to-date while JURONG International is honoured to be given the opportu-
We will also provide an analysis of demographic and economic drivers, while nity having completed projects in both Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

Figure 7 It is a 'Master' Plan Prudence in every way! Figure 8 It is a 'Master' Plan Thought out layout

Figure 9 Unhindered mobility water-road-rail networks Figure 10 Unhindered mobility - road network Arterials

mercial and residential plots are located. and Industry, said, 'This is where, the be- be imagined to be culturally close and
"We have requested the Singapore firm to ginnings of a great city will be established technologically superb too! Now let's see
complete the process within 45 days. It and Singapore is honoured to play a small what platform these companies were
has agreed to station a team of experts in part, through the master plans for Ama- occupying & what they today are?
Vijayawada that had earlier operated from ravathi. However, our partnership with Surbana has been known to be an
Hyderabad," CRDA officials said. Andhra Pradesh will begin from this point award-winning international urbanisation
Surbana will now take inputs from the by assisting them in the development of consultant, offering full-service building
recommendations made by a high level capital city. We will continue to collabo- consultancy solutions, including integra-
meeting of expert consultations held re- rate on development of Amaravathi.' ted sustainable design solutions in archi-
cently in Vijayawada. Once the master plan tecture, engineering, quantity surveying,
What Do Surbana, Jurong, Temask Mean
is redefined, it will be available for public project and construction management,
to India?
debate. The government is legally bound coastal engineering, infrastructure and
to put the master plan before the general The real question is, are we hiring the land survey, urban planning, building tech-
public seeking objections or suggestions 'right fit' for the job? Right fit means maxi- nology and city management.
if any. mizing compatibility in critical aspects Over the last 50 years, it successfully
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

'Amaravathi is envisaged to be devel- technological, financial/economical, geo- planned, designed and completed more
oped as smart, green and sustainable city. socio-cultural. For this answer 'due dili- than a million homes across 26 townships,
In the line of being developed as the Peo- gence' is a condition precedent, but here and reclaimed almost 10% of Singapore,
ple's Capital of Andhra Pradesh, our aspi- we can at the most look at these aspects providing holistic living environments with
ration is to create a vibrant, diverse, inclu- to have a feel of necessary 'degree of com- amenities such as parks, schools, mixed-
sive and modern city which will be a sym- fort' of being in right professional hands use developments, roads and commer-
bol of pride for the people of Andhra compatible to or expectations. This should cial projects for over 80% of the island's
Pradesh and India,' CM Naidu said. include the 'soundness as on date' and ter- population.
'My heartfelt thanks to the Govern- rain familiarity. In different ways Surbana Growing from a Building and Devel-
ment of Singapore for their dedication and or Jurong have had and continue to have opment Division of the Housing & Devel-
fast pace of work. October 22, 2015 has their quite presence in India Chennai, opment Board (HDB) in sixties to solve Sin-
been decided as the day of laying founda- B'lore, Kerala and even Kolkata. Since it is gapore's housing crisis by evolving affor-
tion stone for Amaravathi. We need to becoming evident that this group could be dable and quality housing for a growing
begin ground work from that day. a very strong contender for future urban- population its mandate was to alleviate
Amaravathi is a project which is being ization plans including 'Smart Cities' laun- Singapore's severe housing shortage. This
watched by people across India,' Naidu ches, it is important to make a visit into the it did commendably by successfully cre-
said. group's credentials historically and on- ating a world-class public housing model

S Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade date. As for Singapore per se it can safely which has re-defined the standards of su-

- Ascendas-Singbridge, Surbana-JIH to
capitalise on growing opportunities in sus-
tainable urban development
- Ascendas-Singbridge will take on an
asset investment & holding role;
Surbana-JIH will provide building & engi-
neering specialist services
- Merged group will offer end-to-end
solutions in integrated sustainable urban
- The merged group will be jointly owned
by JTC and Temasek through a 49:51 part-
The four subsidiaries will be reorgan-
ised to create two independent operating
arms one to invest and hold assets, and the
other to provide building & engineering
Figure 11 Modernity is balance with nature water, land and air specialist services.
Ascendas and Singbridge, the asset
perior and affordable living spaces. Ever gapore's urbanisation, industrial and in-
investment & holding arm, will originate,
since its corporatisation in July 2003,as frastructure programmes over the 50
aggregate and provide urban solutions.
HDB Corporation Pte Ltd (HDB Corp) it years of national development history the
Surbana and JIH will form the building &
has been in volved in export Singapore's merged company is a powerhouse for
engineering specialist services unit, ena-
decades of urbanisation expertise and ex- urbanisation, industrial and infrastruc-
bling sustainable solutions through tech-
perience to other countries including star- ture development equipped to offer com-
ting to venture into the China market. plete value chain, one-stop professional
Given the complementary nature of
HDB Corp was acquired by Temasek services to the development industry. The
the four businesses, their employees can
Holdings, the Singapore Government's merged company can be utilized for ur-
expect to benefit from new opportunities
investment vehicle rebranded as Surbana banisation, industrial infrastructure dev-
across multiple business or market seg-
Corporation Pte Ltd in 2005. elopments and smart cities initiatives as it
The Merger: Surbana International & ments, which will allow them to develop
has abundant resources to offer high value
Jurong International Completed (10 June new expertise and broaden their skills. The
planning, design and engineering services
2015) enlarged group will therefore enable the
in the development industry.'
Surbana International Consultants The Surbana-JIH Merged Company four subsidiaries to develop, cultivate and
Holdings Pte. Ltd (“Surbana”), and JURONG can deliver total urban, infrastructure and retain their talent pool over the long term
International Holdings Pte Ltd (“JIH”) com- engineering solutions to support social with mutual benefit of all- company, cli-
pleted the merger between the two com- and economic growth. ents & employees.
panies. The merged companies, to be This Asian consultancy powerhouse Amaravathi - The Controversy Gallery
named later, is jointly owned by Temasek for urbanization, industrial and infra-
Holdings ('Temasek') and JTC Corpora- structure developments, besides distin- Very few projects take off without wri-
tion ('JTC') with a 51:49 shareholding. guished track record in shaping Singa- thing out of controversies - true, imaginary,
provoked and so on and so forth. Amaravathi
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

On 16 February 2015, Singapore in- pore's landscape over the last 50 years,
vestment company Temasek and JTC, the has successfully completing a wide array is no exception. Issues abound, stretching
lead government agency responsible for of projects in over 51 countries across 167 from,
the development of industrial infrastruc- cities. The tally reads as more than a mil- - Questioning the very Law created for
ture to support and catalyse the growth of lion homes in Singapore, completed mas- 'creating the capital'!
industries in Singapore, had announced terplans for over 30 countries and devel- - Suitability of Land for city building
that they had entered into an agreement oped 49 industrial parks around the world - Land Acquisition matters relating to
to merge four of their operating subsid- with 20 offices across Asia, Africa and the tariffs, transparency, no consent on high
iaries, Surbana, JIH, Ascendas Pte Ltd Middle East. yield land
('Ascendas') and Singbridge Group Pte - And plenty more, that shall be a fall out
Delivery Essence of Merger Package
Ltd ('Singbridge'), into an integrated plat- of these and related controversial issues.
form for sustainable urban development. This integrated platform creates This will include revised master plan put
The merger brought together Surbana's greater scale and synergies, and provides
for public debate.
experience as the former technical and flexibility and nimbleness in pursuing pro-
commercial arm of the Housing and Dev- jects across the entire urban development Having said this, as of now the Andhra
elopment Board and JIH's experience as value chain. The merged group's aggre- Government is going steady with the plans
the technical and commercial arm of JTC. gate value is approximately S$5 billion while some issues too are easing out as

Both companies were key drivers in Sin- based on underlying entities. concerned agencies and authorities are

tackling them head on! While we can pay a ointed by the centre had already submit- ment clearances, had asked the Ministry
visit to some of these which will show that ted its recommendations for the new capi- of Environment and the AP government to
efforts are on and sorting out matters on tal, but the state had passed the AP Capi- respond, giving time up to August 28. The
track, what has to be ensured is that no talRegionDevelopmentAuthorityAct,2014. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has
hurdles in terms of 'mal-intentioned trip- As per the provisions of the Act, the extended time till September 18 for the
ping-spanners & spokes spook the right- state government had empowered itself Union Ministry of Environment to file coun-
ful implementation. At the same breath it to declare the capital city and capital re- ter to the petition of Pandalaneni Sriman-
needs to be enforced that transparency gion area. This, he said, was in contraven- narayana. As regards the state govern-
and public good is ensured by all agencies tion of provisions of both the Constitution ment The Capital Region Development
and the powers that be. and the AP Reorganisation Act. The peti- Authority has filed a counter denying that
It is in this context necessary to see tion said that the Act does not have the the land earmarked was earthquake or
what's going on on some contentious issues assent of the President of India. flood prone.
that any way raise their ugly heads in most A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and
Land Acquisition
infrastructure projects! Justice Amitav Roy of the Supreme Court
has declined to entertain the plea seeking Land acquisition started off from far-
Supreme Court Rejects Plea on New Capi-
quashing of a law enacted by the Andhra mers in villages where land has been ac-
tal City
Pradesh government for creating a new quired by the government under land pool-
A Law 'AP Capital Region Develop- capital city. ing scheme and where land acquisition
ment Authority Act, 2014'was enacted by notices have been issued.
the Andhra Pradesh government for cre-
Farm Land Yes, Habitat Land No!
ating a new capital city. A writ petition was The NGT, in response to a petition filed
filed by retired IAS officer M.G. Devasahayam by one Mr. Srimannarayana, against the But now the reason to worry for villag-
seeking to declare as unconstitutional the development of a new capital for Andhra ers is that the government is getting ready
law passed in December. Mr Devasahayam, Pradesh allegedly in 'flood and earthquake to reclaim not only farm lands but even the
in his petition, said an expert panel app- prone area' and without proper environ- grama kantam village habitation lands in
villages where farmers had constructed
What they said: houses. The discontent of farmers and
their opposition is to acquisition of habita-
Mr. Wong Kan Seng, currently the Chairman of Singbridge, will be the Chairman of the asset investment tion lands as these were not in purview as
& holding arm, while Mr Miguel Ko, Executive Director of Singbridge, will take on the role of CEO.Mr Liew far as villagers are concerned.
Mun Leong, currently the Chairman of Surbana, will chair the building & engineering specialist services
arm, with Mr Wong Heang Fine as the CEO. High Yield Ones Not to be Acquired
Mr Wong Kan Seng, Chairman of the asset investment & holding arm, said, “Urbanisation trends in Another move that has become con-
emerging markets hold significant investment potential and opportunities for Singapore companies. troversial is the state government implic-
Through this integrated platform, we will have better scale and deeper expertise to handle many large- itly forces farmers to part with their fertile
scale and complex urban development projects. Our established relationships with local governments land where they raise high value crops. No
and business communities will enable us to develop urban solutions that can effectively address specific
local initiatives and requirements across the region.”
farmer will be prepared to part with such
fertile land secured them a steady income
Mr. Liew Mun Leong, Chairman of the building & engineering specialist services arm, said, “If we are to for generations, all through, rain or shine.
lead and manage major urbanisation and infrastructures building in developing countries both within and Farmers of these 10 villages includ-
outside Asia, we need to build up a wide range of core competencies in a one-stop technical organisation. ing, Undavalli, Penumaka and Nidamuru,
We also need expanded scale and varieties of technical challenges to attract talented and creative engi-
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

have been resisting the government's move

neers, architects, planners and technologists who can think beyond conventional practices to build the
to “forcibly” acquire their land and have
next generation of global cities and their infrastructures. This merger of Surbana and Jurong International
will expeditiously create the right platform and scale to attract and retain the best brains in the building opted out of land pooling scheme, saying
and engineering professions. This build-up of core expertise and distinctive skills will create in the they earned four- fold more than the gov-
merged entity an international building and engineering consultancy powerhouse to meet the fast grow- ernment's package including developed
ing and more complex needs of the development industry in Singapore and overseas.” land.
Though the government so far has
Mr. Miguel Ko, CEO of Ascendas-Singbridge, said, “The merger between Ascendas and Singbridge
been playing down the importance of this
allows us to play an important role in driving economic and social development in urbanising cities. By
leveraging each other's capabilities to address gaps and strengthen existing competencies, we will be a
stretch of land spread over 10 villages, the
stronger player that can develop best-in-class urban and business space solutions tailored to specific enterprising farmers here have in some
needs of target industries and demographics.” cases, raised six floriculture crops a year.
Bethapudi farmers grow tonnes of onions,
Mr. Wong Heang Fine, CEO of Surbana-JIH, said, “Surbana and JIH have complementary strengths in the shortage of which is now bringing tears
infrastructure technology and engineering solutions. This combination allows us to grow our suite of to people.
building & engineering capabilities across similar and differentiated sub-segments, with an increased
pool of talent, enhanced resources and deepened regional penetration. By integrating the planning, archi- 'Flip Flops' to 'Out-of-Box'
tecture and engineering capabilities of Surbana and JIH under one roof, we can offer a wider range of solu-
tions as we pursue larger projects on the world stage.” Every time the government tried to

invoke LA Act provisions it ran into trouble


and its flip-flop showed up. No sooner it pecting on absurdity of losing such ever- built by the International Society for Krishna
had issued Government Order 166 on May lasting resource. Therefore it should set Consciousness (ISKCON) on October 22
14, notifying exemptions from provisions example by tweaking capital city plan to on the occasion of Dashehra. The ISKCON
relating to preparation of social impact accommodate largely city- bound crops temple will be constructed in 80 acres of
assessment report and safeguarding irri- in these fertile multi crop lands, show- land near the Kondaveedu Fort area in
gated multi-cropped land in the amended casing this as part of a self-sufficient sus- Guntur.
LA Act ( Right to Fair Compensation and tainable capital smart city model. A rare 13th century idol of Venna Mudda
Transparency in Land Acquisition, Reha- Gopaludu belonging to the period of Sri
Grand 'Foundation' Politics
bilitation and Resettlement Act 2013), it Krishnadevaraya was found in the 1998
was challenged in Hyderabad High Court. The tearing flurry and hurry with which excavations in Kondaveedu. This inspired
The government till then holding veiled Andhra Pradesh government started with ISKCON to build the temple with an esti-
threats, took a u-turn and told the court on pushing through land acquisition process mated budget of 200 crore budget on this
May 21, that it will not issue any follow-up in the capital region may have yet another land which was donated by the State En-
notification. reason. An important one doing the rounds dowments Department. The authorities
Surprising as it has invoked its emi- is the fast approaching grand foundation have already built the cow sheds and star-
nent domain powers vested in the Land laying ceremony for the capital slated for ted rearing the cows at the Goshala.
Acquisition (LA) Act to take over 3,892 Vijaya Dasami on October 22. Now what ISKCON is planning this ambitious
acres straddling 10 villages when it has over makes it extremely significant is Chief Min- temple on par with the Amritsar Golden
25,000 acres pooled land already under its ister N. Chandrababu Naidu has confirmed Temple and Sripuram goddess Lakshmi
possession to start the work on building the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Golden Temple. The temple dome and the
the capital. Modi while he had personally invited Japa- sanatorium would be coated with pure gold
It seems that apparently the reason to nese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the big and an international school, a religious
event. And with a 200 crore Golden Tem- theme park, Kondaveedu Museum, a Vedic
acquire part of this land is to build a few of
school, a medical centre and a cow pro-
the landmark public buildings in some of ple foundation laying lined up, the grand
tection centre will be built in the temple
these river front villages. It is amusing as ceremony is also be the showcasing of a
to why such structures could not come up great tourist revenue puller as it will be
The complex is expected to turn out to
in places where land pooling is over or why next only to legendary Amritsar golden
be a major tourist attraction as well.
government should not wait till the farm- temple. (see Figure12)
All seems set for Amaravathi to
ers who traditionally cultivate more than Hence with 'all of 33,000 acres' as al-
bloom soon! 
three crops a year are fully convinced. It is ready in possession of the government could
difficult to convince farmers who are pros- send stronger signals for presenting the
perous perennially with fertile lands to for- green field capital as an absolutely safe & Author's Bio
sake it. It is unethical too. The solution is to attractive investment destination thus kick-
put up the structures elsewhere where no start the capital building propelled by in-
such sacrificing of fertile land is involved ward investment to the state kitty.
and government has in possession by
What a 'Golden' Note to Sign Off!
acquisition pooling plenty of it.
In any case taking over the multi- PM Narendra Modi and CM
cropped fertile land from determined far- N.Chandrababu Naidu are expected to lay The author leads our Delhi bureau. An
mers should not be allowed. Good sense the foundation stone for the first Golden Engineer and qualified ADR profes-
should prevail with government intros- Temple in Andhra Pradesh which will be sional (NALSAR alumnus), Sadagopan
The Masterbuilder | September 2015 |

Seshadri has been a senior Contract

Management Professional in large
national & International Companies.
His domain experience is in Building
Products, Cement plants and Mega
Power project execution. He has been
an expert visiting faculty and univ. exam-
iner for Contract Management at the
SSAA, IP University, New Delhi.
Being passionate about Environment he
has now turned to Landscape Projects
design teamed with like-minded archi-
tects & engineers for sustainable land-
scapes development He is vocal with
his views on these areas through his writ-
He can be reached at:

Figure 12 ; After Amritsar A Golden Temple in Andhra too

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