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Thousands Call for March to India's Amaravati after Gov't Halts Construction of Planned City

New Delhi (Sputnik): Construction work at Amaravati, a planned city in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has been stopped since June 2019 after the state voted in a new ruling party.

#ChaloAmaravati (Let’s Go to Amaravati) is trending on Twitter in India following the shutdown of construction work in the planned capital city of Andhra Pradesh. 

With more than 50,000 tweets, Andhra Pradesh residents are supporting a visit to Amaravati to check on how the construction is proceeding.

Former state chief of Andhra Pradesh and leader of opposition Chandrababu Naidu's convoy, who is visiting the site on Thursday, has been obstructed by protesting farmers, who are saying that they have been duped.

​​​The farmers who had given their land to build the planned capital moved to ask the high court to intervene in the matter last week. The farmers were promised that Andhra Pradesh needed a capital and their lands would be put to use in developing one.

They asked the court to direct the government to resume construction work in Amaravati as “it is against the spirit of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) Act 2014”.

The farmers went to court after a Singapore Consortium pulled out of the project last week. The previous government in Andhra Pradesh and the Singapore consortium in 2017 established a multi-layered partnership structure for the development of the Amaravati Capital City Start-Up Area Project.

But the current Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party government terminated the commercial area development project last week. 

Soon after Reddy came to power in May, the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank withdrew $500 million in funding they had promised for the project.

With the construction work halted, high court judges, members of legislative assembly and officers are living in rented accommodation far away from Amaravati as work on their quarters has also been stopped.  

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