New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said the proposed state assembly building at Amaravati will be taller than the Statue of Unity.
The new assembly, he announced, will have three floors and a tower spiralling 250 metres into the sky, 68 metres over and above the Sardar Patel statue that was inaugurated last month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with much fanfare.
As he made the announcement, it was not lost on anyone that this was Naidu’s way of getting one-up over the Prime Minister. He has been trying to stitch an anti-BJP alliance after quitting the NDA earlier this year and had escalated the Centre-state faceoff by blocking CBI’s entry into his state.
The chief minister said that the design of the structure, which would be the tallest in the country once it’s complete, has almost been finalized and the blueprint will be submitted to the state government by UK-based architects Norma Fosters.
The announcement has come at a time when the unveiling of the Statue of Unity has sparked off competition between states to outdo each other. Maharashtra is building a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memoria off the Mumbai coast and Uttar Pradesh has announced that it will build a Lord Ram statue. Both of these will be taller than the Sardar Patel statue, whose height is 182 metres.
The Karnataka government is also keen to build a statue of Mother Cauvery which will be 125 metre tall.
The minister for municipal administration, P Narayana, told Times of India that the new AP assembly will be shaped like an upside-down lily flower. The government would call for tenders by November-end and the process will be completed in two years, he said.
It will also have two galleries – the first one at 80 metres accommodating 300 people and the second one at 250 metres accommodating 20 people and will give a view of Amaravati city. The building will be cyclone and-earthquake proof, the minister said.
Naidu also cleared designs of the five buildings of the secretariat. He directed the AP Capital Region Development Authority officials to prepare draft tender notifications