Andhra Pradesh Reignites Amaravati Capital City Ambition

Posted by Written by Archana Rao Reading Time: 4 minutes

The long-overdue ambition to establish Amaravati as a green capital city of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh appears to be back on track. In June, the newly formed state government published a Gazette notice regarding the greenfield capital project. Although nearly eight years have passed since Amaravati was announced as the new state capital following Telangana’s bifurcation from Andhra Pradesh, no significant changes have been made to the area.

Things appear to be turning around for Andhra Pradesh. Upon the release of a white paper on Amaravati on July 3, 2024, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said that Singapore has prepared three master plans for Andhra Pradesh’s capital city, which would house nine different regions: government, health, finance, sports, electronics, justice, tourism, and knowledge.

The Amaravati Government Complex Master Plan was formally unveiled on June 29, 2024, by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA). By outlining specific zoning regulations and criteria for urban design, the roughly 1,575-acre plan aims to encourage planned and sustainable growth in the region.

Shortly after Naidu, the head of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), took over as the state chief minister on June 12, 2024, a number of statements regarding the city were made. The state government is reportedly planning to publish a “white paper” on Amaravati in the second week of July this year. 

Latest developments on the Amaravati city project

Andhra Pradesh recently reappointed retired IAS officer Lakshimi Parthsarathy as the chairperson of the Amaravati Development Corporation to oversee the new capital city’s development, implementation, and operation. She first served as the chairperson of Amaravati Development Corporation from January 2016 to July 2019. It has been announced that an upcoming white paper will detail Amaravati’s current status and address the effects of the project’s hiatus under the previous administration. 

Chief Minister Naidu also announced his decision to keep Amaravati as the sole capital region of the state. Shortly after gaining a landslide victory in the state assembly elections, Naidu addressed a joint meeting of the state’s NDA parties, the BJP, TDP, and the Jana Sena Party, and proclaimed that there will be no “games under the guise of three capitals” and that Amaravati would be the only capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Timeline on Amaravati greenfield city project

  • The state of Andhra Pradesh was officially bifurcated under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. This led to the official formation of Telangana, India’s youngest state, with its state capital being the city of Hyderabad. 
  • N. Chandrababu Naidu assumed the charge as the first chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh between 2014 and 2019. He floated the idea of Amaravati as the capital city. Amaravati was selected as the new capital because of its strategic location between Vijayawada and Guntur.
  • The proposed greenfield capital was supposed to be developed through a land pooling scheme where farmers would donate land for the establishment of Amaravati. Thousands of farmers contributed to the scheme during Naidu’s last tenure as the state’s chief minister.
  • In 2015, Naidu laid the foundation stone for the Amaravati capital, and in 2019, he laid the foundation stone for a permanent secretariat in the region.
  • However, the project suffered a setback in 2019 when the Naidu-led TDP lost power and the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP party won a landslide victory in the assembly elections.
  • Shortly after assuming charge, Jagan floated a three-capital plan for Andhra Pradesh: Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Amaravati as the legislative capital, and Kurnool as the judicial capital.
  • The three-capital plan hit a legal hurdle, and as a result, Andhra Pradesh continued without any capital till 2024.
  • On June 2, 2024, Hyderabad ceased to be the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as the bifurcation of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh entered its 10th year.

Phase-wise implementation

In June 2024, Andhra Pradesh Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana announced that the development of Amaravati, the capital city, would be completed in two and a half years. Narayana stated that Amaravati aims to be one of the top five capital cities globally, with plans from the past being implemented to achieve this goal. The minister highlighted that the development involves collaboration with the Singapore government, particularly in designing the city to benefit all districts financially. In 2015, the then state administration officials visited countries such as Singapore, China, Japan, Russia, and Malaysia in a bid to gather the best design ideas for Amaravati.

Shortly after, the state invited Singapore and Japan to partner with the Andhra government to help with the establishment of the new capital. The invitation to the two island nations came after the Singapore government submitted the final master plan for what will be the core administrative borough of the capital region.

Narayana explained that tenders worth INR 480 billion (US$5.7 billion) were previously issued to provide amenities in most areas of Amaravati, with INR 90 billion (US$1.07 billion) already spent. The minister noted that 90 percent of the residential quarters for bureaucrats, legislators, and others have been constructed.

After the land pooling notification on January 1, 2015, farmers handed over 34,000 acres of land by February 28, 2015.

Amaravati city’s master plan will be implemented in three phases, with the first phase costing INR 480 billion (US$5.7 billion) and the second phase focusing on metro rail infrastructure and mass public transport.

Legal issues and other roadblocks

The Amaravati Master Plan project was given to the design firm Foster+Partner in 2015, and the said project was expected to be completed in 2025. However, the project was abandoned in 2019 after the YSR Congress Party won the state elections. The new state government, under the leadership of then Chief Minister YSR Jagan Reddy, insisted on proposing a plan that divided government functions among different locations.

In 2022, the UK Architects’ Journal reported that a lawsuit was filed against the government-run Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) as the agency failed to address Foster + Partners’ requests for payment, which date back to 2019.

Foster+Partners had been working with AMRDA for several years to create an administrative city for the state of Andhra Pradesh. At an estimated cost of £500 million (US$600 million), the project featured a new legislative building, judicial facilities, and an office building complex.


The long-overdue ambition of making Amaravati the green capital city of Andhra Pradesh is gradually gathering momentum. The Amaravati Master Plan spans an area of 1,575 acres and outlines particular zoning laws and urban design standards to promote planned and sustainable growth. The newly elected Naidu-led TDP government has made a number of significant statements regarding the city’s developments in an attempt to jump-start Amaravati’s growth in phases as well as attract foreign cooperation and financial investments.

(US$1 = INR 83.53)

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