A controversial plan to build a smart and sustainable new administrative capital for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh may be compromised by the apparent withdrawal of nearly half its funding by the World Bank.
The bank had committed to lend the scheme, called Amaravati, $300m of a total projected cost of $715m, but today Indian media noticed that the word "dropped" had appeared next to the status field in the bank’s website for the project.Â
GCR has contacted the Washington, DC-headquartered bank for information.
Last year, UK architects Foster + Partners’ unveiled its masterplan for the 217-sq-km development near the River Krishna that includes a legislative assembly, high court complex, and other administrative buildings.Â
The architect said Amaravati would be "one of the most sustainable cities in the world", with 60% of it covered by greenery or water, and routes provided for electric vehicles.
But environmental campaigners, farmers and civil society groups had petitioned the World Bank against the plan, promoted by the state’s former chief minister, arguing it would take away fertile farmland, displace landless farmers, and cause environmental damage.
According to The Indian Express, the World Bank launched an inquiry into the scheme probing whether the state government had honoured its commitments. That inquiry reported in January this year, but it was not made public.Â
Images: Visualisation of Amaravati by Foster + Partners