Today afternoon, India will begin building its newest capital city, Amaravati. The foundation stone for the building of the new Andhra Pradesh capital will be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 12.45 pm on Thursday. The preparations for the big event today have been elaborate.
State chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has flown in soil from the holy sites of Jerusalem and Mecca, sprinkled the site with holy water from the Ganga and Godavari, and gone to great lengths to seek blessings from people across Andhra Pradesh and the rest of the country.
“Today, holy water and soil — that is puttamatti — from 13,000 villages and 3,000 wards, besides sacred water and soil from all holy rivers of the world and India has been collected for the foundation ceremony,” Naidu told media yesterday. "Not just one religion, all religions are involved."
This means that water and soil was collected from the Sikh holy site Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Vaishnodevi shrine of the Hindus, as well as the Islamic shrine Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan, among other places. Naidu said that soil was also collected from birth places of Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, B R Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly is expected to come up at Uddandarayunipalem village, the spot where Modi will lay the foundation stone.
“The spot is also vastu-compliant and has positive vibes,” The Indian Express quoted Information Minister Dr P Raghunatha Reddy as saying.
The AP government's largely smooth acquisition of land for building the capital city has caught the interest of several union cabinet members, who are struggling to pass the contentious Land Acquisition Act in the Rajya Sabha.
“When farmers voluntarily give up their land, there has to be a strong reason. Those who gave up did so in the hope of participating in building our capital. We hope it will be as grand and world class as the CM is promising,” Suresh Reddy, a farmer who reportedly gave up five acres, told Express.