In photos: The slow transformation of a place into the capital city of Amaravati

S. Ananth in this photo essay shows how the capital city of Amaravati is shaping up:

In the three years since it was decided that Amaravati would be the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, the transformation of the area has been pronounced. From the 29 villages considered to be sleepy backwaters to becoming the centre of administration, the outward appearance has changed. 

Trucks ferrying construction material, government vehicles zipping past and heavy police presence is the new normal. Infrastructure has vastly improved, houses are being built or extended to be rented out. Real estate frenzy and speculation has slowed down. Old structures are constantly being torn down or converted. 

Since early February 2018, Andhra Pradesh is back on the boil, albeit a tad lower than pre-bifurcation days. The slow pace of capital building has been a topic for debate and the blame–game continues. 

Laying the foundations for the legislators quarters. All images by author.

Since the announcement of the capital in the region, the local economy has moved in phases: from agricultural production, to land speculation, to orientation towards the service sector.  Those with some property—agricultural land or house sites—have benefitted while others have clearly lost out. The business of serving newcomers in the administration or work contracts related to the formation of the new capital is booming. Two streams of economic activity are discernible. Services related to (a) renting, restaurants, bars and informal shared transport for the new inhabitants and, (b) those providing ancillary and support services to capital construction.  

The building of Amaravati provides this rare opportunity for urban researchers…


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