It’s 7pm on a muggy July night in Naya Raipur, the brand new capital of Chhattisgarh that got here up from scratch in 2012. The roads are abandoned. A small tea store with a flickering lamp dots the roadside close to the ‘Capitol Advanced’, the workplace of state chief minister Raman Singh and his cupboard colleagues. Some 32 state departments have shifted base right here from Raipur, the outdated capital in 2012.

Naya Raipur was conceptualised as a global metropolis, constructed from scratch or, on this case, inexperienced subject to be the nation’s first good state capital. Ambition flowed within the plans, a lot in order that the Secretariat’s identify was derived from ‘Capitol’ in United States. The thought was to maintain it huge on infrastructure, a imaginative and prescient shared 500 kilometres away by Amaravati, the brand new state capital of Andhra Pradesh. In recent times, the 2 cities have braved distinct set of challenges that may in the future provide insights for India’s different cities.

‘Naya’ problem

The Capitol Advanced is effectively lit, however barring a couple of safety guards, is empty. So are the opposite workplaces which have sprung up close by: the New Raipur Improvement Authority (NRDA) and the police headquarters.

And so are the rows and rows of brightly painted, however empty residence complexes, unfold over three residential sectors. For many of 5,000 staff working right here, house remains to be 25km away, in Previous Raipur. This contains chief minister Raman Singh, who involves the Secretariat workplace no less than twice every week, his cupboard colleagues and the bureaucrats. Naya Raipur remains to be principally a ghost city.

This isn’t the way it was meant to be.

On the drafting board, NRDA that’s constructing town had predicted that one lakh folks will transfer into the brand new capital by 2015. However to this point, 5 years after the primary workplaces shifted, solely about 20,000 folks have moved in. Huge funding has gone into the making of town since its Grasp Plan was firmed up in 2008.

“Greater than Rs 10,000 crore — Rs 5,000 crore for constructing bodily infrastructure, relaxation on land acquisition — has been invested to this point. Main chunk is from state sources,” stated Aman Kumar Singh, chairman, NRDA.

Residents say the issue shouldn’t be in city infrastructure of town, the place roads are large, sidewalks landscaped, and the transportation is wise.

A view of Naya Raipur from Capitol Complex. (HT Photo)
A view of Naya Raipur from Capitol Advanced. (HT Photograph)

“You may see buildings of all hues right here. The one lacking hyperlink is the folks. Except folks begin dwelling right here town is not going to develop. Why will folks keep right here?” says Anshuman Vohra, who works in a building firm and is a short lived resident.

The issue, he says, is within the lack of “stores, reasonably priced colleges or well being care amenities”.

Amaravati progress

With Naya Raipur’s expertise nonetheless recent, Amaravati, the upcoming greenfield capital of Andhra Pradesh, is treading cautiously. Town remains to be at a really nascent stage of its existence. It was declared the capital solely in 2014, when Telangana was carved out of the state.

One of many first issues Andhra chief minister Chandrababu Naidu did to make sure Amaravati succeeded was to pack his baggage and shift base to the brand new capital from Hyderabad. His cupboard colleagues and bureaucrats gingerly adopted. In report time, a short lived secretariat, meeting constructing, different workplaces and workers quarters have been constructed as practically 6,000 authorities officers moved in with their households.

The power within the metropolis is palpable, with building work dominating the horizon. Individuals are erecting new buildings to hire them out, and greater than a dozen small resorts have come up in close by villages resembling Velagupudi and Malkapuram. Two technical schooling establishments opened final month.

“The native financial system is prospering. A lot of the new residents have, in the interim, settled down in both one of many villages close to the Secretariat Constructing or in Vijaywada and Guntur,” stated M Venkat Rao, 48, a resident of Malkapuram village.

Regardless of the preliminary momentum, officers right here realise that constructing a metropolis from the scratch shouldn’t be straightforward.

“The main problem is funding. We’re a revenue-deficit state. We will’t use all our funds to develop Amaravati. The Centre has to this point given Rs 2,500 crore however the requirement within the subsequent three years is over Rs 32,000 crore. We’re tying up with multilateral businesses for garnering extra sources,” stated Dr Sreedhar Cherukuri, commissioner, Andhra Pradesh Capital Area Improvement Authority. He added, “Earlier our work revolved round constructing the executive capital. However we are actually specializing in financial growth.”

Studying from errors

Naya Raipur may need probably the greatest bodily infrastructures, however the authorities did not think about an important facet when it deliberate its new capital: social infrastructure.

“We thought as soon as the bodily infra is in place, folks will shift. However there are not any stores, no financial exercise. There need to be employment era alternatives. We’re addressing these points. Our central enterprise district might be prepared by early subsequent 12 months. As soon as that’s prepared, and with the chief minister and governor’s home — the place work will begin quickly — achieved, we’re hopeful folks may even transfer in,” stated Mukesh Bansal, CEO, NRDA. Since Independence, three greenfield capitals have come up in India: Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar and Gandhinagar. Apart from Chandigarh, the opposite two, particularly Gandhinagar took a very long time to return to life.

In accordance with city specialists, cities resembling Gandhinagar and Naya Raipur take a long time to choose up as a result of planners who design new cities don’t research the Indian psyche.

“In India, folks need to reside in a metropolis the place there’s social cohesion… folks need to speak to one another, work together. The brand new cities resembling Naya Raipur don’t present this. Social sustainability shouldn’t be there. That’s the reason these cities have failed to draw folks. Borrowing ideas from different international locations received’t work right here as a result of they’re so alien to the wants and habits of individuals,” stated Saswat Bandyopadhyay, professor of planning at Ahmedabad’s CEPT College.

Constructing new cities must be primarily based on financial impulse, a sound enterprise case, says Srikanth Viswanathan, CEO, Janaagraha. “A metropolis shouldn’t be created simply by developing roads and buildings. Commerce, funding and financial system need to be taken care of,” he stated.

For Naya Raipur to have a life, city specialists say step one might be to maneuver the federal government lock, inventory, and barrel to town. Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh can take inspiration from his Andhra counterpart, who realised very early that for shifting folks to a brand new metropolis, he should make the primary transfer. “I knew if I shifted to Amaravati, my ministers and bureaucrats will comply with go well with. As soon as the federal government comes, governance will comply with. This helped construct folks’s belief,” N Chandrababu Naidu instructed HT.

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