Chief Minister of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu has invited Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to lay foundation stones for the construction of the new state capital Amravati in the last week of January next year.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given its nod for the construction of Amravati on November 17.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to visit India as one of the guests during the Republic Day celebrations scheduled on January 26, 2018. India has invited the 10 heads of government of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries during the Republic Day celebrations to commemorate 25 years of partnership between India and ASEAN. A special Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) event is also being organised in Singapore on January 6 and 7 in celebration of the partnership.
The Singapore government and a consortium of industries are taking part in building the new capital city of Amravati. S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), of Singapore is coordinating their projects in Andhra Pradesh.
Notably, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh wanted to invite PM Lee last year to oversee the groundwork of the capital city construction, but the idea was shelved as there was no official invitation from the Government of India. Now that India has officially invited him, Loong can add Amaravati to his itinerary, a senior official in AP government told the newspaper ‘The Sunday Guardian’.
Singapore PM Lee is expected to participate in the foundation laying ceremonies for Amravati’s administrative zone buildings like Assembly, Secretariat, etc. Andhra Pradesh government is also planning to invite some ministers of the Central government for the occasion.
NGT has cleared the construction of the new capital city at the present location on the banks of River Krishna, between Vijayawada and Guntur on November 17. The tribunal headed by Justice Swatantra Kumar rejected petitions filed by three activists, including former IAS officer EAS Sarma, and allowed the government to go ahead with the city project.
The tribunal, while ending the almost two-year long litigation on Amaravati construction, ordered the setting up of two committees to ensure there was no deviation from the plans submitted to it and natural water bodies and green cover were protected.
Andhra Pradesh government recently sent 123 farmers to Singapore so that they can see how the land bought from them will be used for the development of the new capital Amravati and how they can become successful entrepreneurs by investing their newfound wealth.
Singaporean Minister Iswaran, who led a Singapore delegation to Amaravati on November 17, welcomed the NGT verdict and asked the CM to comply with its order. He hoped that Loong’s visit would further boost Singapore’s association with Andhra Pradesh and India.