Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, January 4
Amaravati, the proposed capital city of Andhra Pradesh, will have the country’s first ever underwater tunnel passing through the Krishna river.
According to plans being drawn up by officials involved in the construction of the capital, the tunnel will be 3 km long and will be used for vehicular traffic.
The Singapore-based designers, who have been roped in for the project, have included the under-river tunnel in the detailed master plan.
“We expect the underwater tunnel to be a major tourist attraction. The state government can earn considerable revenue from it,” an official of the AP Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) said.
The tunnel is set to come up near Ibrahimpatnam on the outskirts of Vijayawada. The backwaters of the Prakasam barrage in Vijayawada extend up to Ferry village near Ibrahimpatnam.
Since the proposed tunnel is transparent, motorists using it can see the aquatic life. The transparent road tunnel will connect the administrative capital with Vijayawada.
The master plan also proposes a “gigantic” giant wheel on the riverbank to give the capital city a distinct identity. The giant wheel will function round the clock to attract tourists.
The foundation stone for Amaravati was laid at Uddandarayunipalem village in the coastal district of Guntur by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22.
The Vijayawada-Guntur region has been chosen for the river-front capital as it is centrally located and accessible from all parts of the state.
The Singapore government has designed master plan for the city that seeks to combine tradition with modernity and incorporates the concepts of Vastu and Feng Shui, the Indian and Chinese sciences of construction. This is the first time that a foreign country has designed a state capital in India.
The state government has already pooled 33,000 acres from farmers spread over 29 villages under the Land Pooling System for building the new capital city.
Coming up on the banks of river Krishna, Amaravati, named after the ancient Buddhist city and the seat of power of Telugu rulers nearly two millennia ago, will be spread over 217 sq km.
The city has been designed in such a way that it touches three national highways and will be fed by seven growth corridors including those from Hyderabad to Machlipatnam Port and from Chennai to Visakhapatnam.
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