Indian Team Visits Astana to Study Architecture, Investment

ASTANA – Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, India, is looking to Astana as a model for both architecture and attracting investment, according to its chief minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
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“Amaravati will be a unique blue and green capital city,” Naidu said in an interview with the Deccan Chronical in October. “Prime Minister [of India] Narendra Modi visited Astana. He then briefed me on the infrastructural marvels of Astana and Asghabat, the capital cities of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. He also suggested that I send a delegation to these cities to study them and incorporate some of the best practices.”

The New Indian Express reports that Naidu has sent high-level teams to the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Brazil, China and Austria to visit the cities of Masdar, Astana, Ashgabat, Brasilia, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Songdo and Vienna to study their modern architecture. The officials are to submit reports on what aspects of the cities could be adopted to suit Andhra Pradesh, the report said, citing State Government Secretary Mukesh Kumar Meena. The teams were to leave on Oct. 25, three days after the Oct. 22 official foundation-laying ceremony of the city, which was attended by Modi.

Though the Amaravati master plan has already been approved, according to the report, final touches will be added following the return of the teams.

In addition to taking inspiration from Astana’s architecture, India may also follow its example in drawing investment to Amaravati by using the same public-private partnership model used in Kazakhstan. “We have to offer land to the investors and attract them, like what they did in Astana,” Naidu told the Deccan Chronicle. “All private investors were attracted to it. A private entity may set up a convention centre when land is offered to it. The government will in turn get taxes and will benefit due to the business activity.”

Astana has gained international attention for its modern architecture, including being called “eclectic, visually arresting, and not to everyone’s taste,” by National Geographic Magazine in February 2012, and being called “the world’s weirdest capital” by CNN the same year. Its buildings have been called “strangely futuristic” and “exotic.” Astana became Kazakhstan’s capital in 1997.

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