The senior officials of the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, recently visited the ancient town of Amaravati to assess the progress of projects being implemented under Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana, also known as HRIDAY Scheme of the Government of India.
Located along the Krishna River in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati is one of the twelve pilot cities selected under the HRIDAY Scheme, with an aim to bring together urban planning, economic growth and conservation of heritage to preserve the authenticity of heritage city. The scheme, launched by the Government of India on January 21, 2015, is offering support to all the core heritage infrastructure projects and reviving select intangible assets of the Amaravati. In the same year, ICLEI South Asia, with partner IHCNF, was selected as City Anchor for Amaravati by Government of India to facilitate planning and advising, and supporting local authorities for successful implementation of the scheme.
Mr. B. Anand, IAS (Joint Secretary – Works & HRIDAY) and Ms. Jhanja Tripathi, IAS (Joint Secretary & Financial Advisor) were a part of the visiting team that conducted an inspection of various projects being implemented by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) under HRIDAY, on March 4, 2017. The visiting team expressed its satisfaction over the progress of the project and its adherence to City HRIDAY plan accepted by Government of India and developed by ICLEI South Asia and IHCNF.
"Conserving and promoting the local heritage of Amaravati", “enhancement of mobility, interconnectivity and streetscaping of major roads connecting all the heritage assets in Amaravati”, “development of heritage park in a 16-acre land available in-front of Dhyana Buddha Statue” and “development of heritage walk way (2.5 km)” are core objectives of the HRIDAY Plan for Amaravati.
After initial observations reflecting lack of basic amenities and facilities for its visitors, non-availability of appropriate signage and information on the approach roads and absence of tourist information kiosks, a few infrastructure development-related projects were identified to bridge the gap in tourism and urban infrastructure.
Presently, the following projects, with total budget of about Rs 20 crore are being implemented under HRIDAY Scheme:
• Up-gradation of Approach Roads to Heritage Sites: for enhancement of mobility, interconnectivity of major roads connecting all the heritage assets in Amaravati
• Heritage Walk-way in Amaravati Town: for streetscaping the major roads with heritage sensitive infrastructure to reflect the local architecture and heritage of Amaravati
• Heritage Park in front of Dhyana Buddha Statue with Area of 16 Acres: to help local communities for conserving and promoting the local heritage of Amaravati
As a part of scheme, the city has witnessed new roads being laid, drains and footpaths constructed and a heritage walkway identified. Street furniture like way finders, street lights, dustbins will be installed in the town in a way that reflects the local heritage of Amaravati.