CRDA cautions Jagan to focus on Capital Development for State’s growth

Even as the State government categorically stated that development of a capital city is not its priority and that it will prefer a decentralised development model for the progress of all regions, the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) has informed the government that creation of an identity for a new capital and its visibility on the global map is ‘very much essential’ for the all-round growth of the State.
While it has presented revised proposals for several key projects, including the Amaravati Government Complex, Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) layouts, and other infrastructure, it also mentioned potential risks associated with downscaling the scope of projects drastically.
“Creation of an identity for a new capital is very much essential in terms of infrastructure and visibility on the global map, which will create required impetus for the all-round growth of the State,” the authority officials observed, in a presentation made to the government.  
Even as speculation is rife that the CRDA is looking for a new premises to house both Secretariat and Heads of Department (HoD) offices, the authority suggested that the five-towered structure, for which works have already begun, could be taken up in a phased manner, based on requirement.
While it endorsed the presence of Secretariat and Heads of Departments (HoD) offices in the same place, noting that it will help in better interaction and disposal of duties, it also pointed out at potential risks if the present scope — one 50-storied tower and four 40-storied towers — is drastically reduced. 
“Drastic reduction of number of floors requires holistic approach and assessment of its impact...In general, for any building, future vertical extension is neither desirable nor advisable. Future extension of towers to the extent of 20 to 25 floors at a future date will not be feasible,” the presentation said, pointing out that deciding to build a few floors now and expand it vertically later will take three-fold more time that it would take to construct a building in one go.
In case it is decided at a later date not to take up future extension, the authority reasoned, there would have been huge and superfluous expenditure by then already made on the foundations, structural elements and truck service infrastructure required for entire structure. 
“Drastic changes in the accepted and fully developed design may not be appreciated by the lead designers who conceived them. They may totally withdraw from the project. In case of their withdrawal from the project, their conceptual/schematic design may not be utilised for further development or execution,” the authority cautioned. 
In case only 10-storied buildings are to be constructed, the entire floor scheme has to be redesigned, the officials said. The five-towered Secretariat was designed by Foster + Partners.
For the record, the authority suggested that three of the five towers, estimated to cost Rs. 3,132 crore, be taken up in first phase, while the other two could be taken up based on requirement. Same is the case with the LPS layouts where the scope was reduced by deferring the execution of smart infrastructure so that the cost could be brought down from Rs. 16,634 crore to Rs. 9,136 crore.

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