Walking into any small-time real estate agent’s office in Tullur village in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, one would see on the wall a map – the detailed master plan of the Amaravati capital city.

Spread over 217 sq km of land, the Amaravati city was TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s pet project which had taken shape in 2015, barely one year after Naidu took over as Andhra Pradesh chief minister following the state’s bifurcation.

However, in 2019, the development of this city, named after Andhra Pradesh’s Buddhist heritage, had come to a halt after YS Jagan Mohan Reddy spearheaded the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to a landslide victory in the state Assembly polls.

After taking charge as the CM, Jagan decided to have three state capitals – Visakhapatnam as the “executive capital”, Amaravati as the “legislative capital” and Kurnool as the “judicial capital” – stalling all construction projects in Amaravati.

With the TDP storming back to power by sweeping the current Andhra polls, the Amaravati capital region is likely to see a revival marked with the construction and real estate boom, whose green shoots are apparent.

Festive offer

Indicating a change in the situation, one of the dignitaries who met Naidu in Delhi on June 5 to greet him over his poll triumph, was Alluri Narayana Raju, the director of Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) Urban Infrastructure Ltd, which was one of the construction majors in charge of infrastructure development in Amaravati. Some of the construction projects in the proposed capital were also to be taken up by the L&T as well as the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

A TDP source told The Indian Express, “He (Raju) was here to meet the TDP leaders including industrialist Galla Jayadev.”

Raju, however, told The Indian Express that his bid to visit Naidu’s felicitation event was “personal” and that he was not representing his company.

Just months before the 2019 elections, Naidu had laid the foundation stone for a permanent secretariat in the Amaravati region, and the NCC was one of the companies roped in for its construction.

Jagan’s freeze on the Amaravati capital development had devastated the farmers in the belt, who had donated their lands for the purpose.

With Naidu back at the helm, these farmers are said to be jubilant now. As per the city’s master plan, those who had donated land were to be given proportionate real estate space in the multiple residential towers which were to come up in the new capital. When Jagan stopped all construction activities in the region, the farmers who donated their land had launched massive protests, forming a joint action committee (JAC) to “save Amaravati”.

According to sources in Tullur, the JAC is expected to send many farmers to attend Naidu’s swearing-in ceremony, which is scheduled for June 12 in the Amaravati region. “Truckloads of farmers from Tullur and surrounding villages will attend Naidu’s swearing-in event,” said a former JAC member.

Already, the real estate prices in Amaravati, which had hit rock bottom – Rs 3,500 per sq yard – in the past five years, have increased manifold. “The prices now are estimated to be Rs 45,000 per sq yard. The capital region is going to be the most sought-after real estate destination in Andhra Pradesh,” said Subhakar Vemulapalli, a real estate agent from Tullur.

The BJP, now an ally of the TDP, was also in favor of the Amaravati capital, said several local farmers and real estate agents who are expecting to rake in big bucks now.

In October 2015, when Naidu laid the foundation stone for the Amaravati capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was by his side. Modi had brought water from Yamuna and soil from India’s Parliament building to be placed at Amaravati as a mark of appreciation and support. Amaravati was supposed to be developed on the model of Singapore.

For Naidu, Amaravati has been a prestigious project after Andhra Pradesh lost Hyderabad to Telangana, the state which was carved out of it in 2014. Naidu, who had been the CM of undivided Andhra Pradesh for two terms, was credited with developing Hyderabad as one of the major IT hubs in the country.

With the 10-year deadline for Hyderabad to remain the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – set by the AP Reorganization Act, 2014 – having expired on June 2 this year, the TDP’s proposal to develop Amaravati would assume urgency now.

In March 2022, the AP High Court directed the then YSRCP government that Amaravati should be developed as the state capital. The Jagan government subsequently challenged it in the Supreme Court, where the matter has since been pending.