Professor C. Ramachandraiah from the Centre of Economics and Social Studies (CESS), spoke of the highly speculative and non-viable projections about Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati during a discussion on ‘The Making of Amaravati: The Role of Land Speculation and Intimidation’ at the School of Social Sciences on November 6, 2015. The discussion was organized by the Centre for Regional Studies at the University of Hyderabad (uoH) and was moderated by Prof. Sujata Patel from the Department of Sociology at UoH.
He expressed his resentment over the current course of action for the new capital whose foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister on October 22. He narrated incidents of farmers that are being forced to give up their land using police force and village panchayats that have rejected government proposals as opposed to the news doing rounds in the media that farmers had voluntarily given up 30,000 acres of land. Professor Ramachandraiah, who has also advocated ‘course correction’ for projects such as the Hyderabad Metro Rail, described the state government’s plan of taking help from Singaporean consultants to turn the capital into a similar city as highly unreasonable and impractical. He criticized the officials for circulating “artistic impressions” as the future of Amaravati and felt that the master plan makes unrealistic projections on population growth and employment generation. He also showed photographs and videos of farmers lamenting their condition.
Professor Sujata Patel, Department of Sociology, also expressed her views on the disruptive consequences of the present situation in Amaravati. She linked it to two other issues, the origin and nature of the Singapore model and its relationship with Amaravati and the way in which the context of neoliberalism has been planned and reorganized in the last 20-25 years.
Both felt it was crucial for people of the neighbouring state to first, be aware of the infeasibility of the plan for the new capital and second, to object strongly to it and restore normalcy for the people of Amaravati.
-By Shaima Mansoor, Department of Communication