Amravati: In a big setback to the Andhra Pradesh government, World Bank on Friday pulled out of the ambitious Amaravati capital city project.
This came after Government of India withdrew its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project.
“The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has been informed that the proposed project is no longer under preparation following the government’s decision,” World Bank’s lead external advisor (special projects) for India Sudip Mozumdar said. However, he didn’t elaborate much on why the Centre took the decision, Hindustan Times reported.
A senior official in the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority, the nodal agency for the Amaravati project, said on condition of anonymity that the state government had not agreed to the World Bank’s proposal to inspect the work undertaken so far as they had been taken up with loans obtained from other lending agencies.
The decision stirred a political drama with the ruling YSR Congress Party and Telugu Desam Party indulging in a blame game.
YSR Congress MLA G Srikanth Reddy held the previous government responsible for World Bank’s action.
“The bank authorities have come to know that the previous TDP government indulged in massive corruption in the land pooling and meted out gross injustice to Dalit farmers who were assigned government plots and tenant farmers,” he said before the media.
“Naidu brought a bad name to Andhra Pradesh at the international level with his illegal land dealings in Amaravati, which resulted in the World Bank opting out of the project,” he alleged.
Reacting sharply to the allegations, Naidu slammed Jagan Reddy government responsible for the latest development.
“YSRC leaders were behind the complaints lodged by some farmers with the World Bank. Now, no external funding agency will be forthcoming to give loans for any project,” he claimed.
“We had commenced infrastructure work… The present government didn’t have much to do except continue the work,” he said.