Singapore to help India build brand new capital city from scratch

In one of the most ambitious urban planning initiatives in modern times, Singapore will help design and develop a brand new capital city in southern India from scratch.

It will rise up across a rural area where 17 villages now sit in the state of Andhra Pradesh. (Pictured is a rural scene in Andhra Pradesh.)

The state needs a new capital because, in 10 years, its current one, Hyderabad, will be the capital of the new state of Telanga, which split from Andhra Pradesh in June 2014.

The first stage of the estimated $16bn development will be an 8-sq-km "seed" area, according to a master planning agreement announced on 12 January.

Singapore will share its expertise in modern urban governance. Right now more than 20 local Indian government officials are undergoing a six-day training session delivered by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities.

The two sides plan to complete the masterplan within six months. Eventually the new capital is expected to expand in area to 7,325 sq km, around 10 times Singapore’s own size.

The Singaporean body leading the project, International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), said the new capital will be a modern business hub, with a focus on IT.

"The economic benefits from the master plan are far reaching not only for Andhra Pradesh, but also for Singapore and the international business community," said Teo Eng Cheong, chief executive of IE Singapore. "As the new capital region develops, we envisage opportunities for more Singapore companies to participate in Andhra Pradesh’s growth, particularly in the urban solutions, ICT and industrial infrastructure sectors." 

Photograph: Road near Alamanda Village, Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh (Adityamadhav83/Wikimedia Commons)

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