If a state gets to work with one of the best architecture firm in the world, it is a privilege. Especially, if the designing firm has won the bidding competition fair and square. But that didn’t happen in Chandrababu’s rule. No, what happened that the firm, Maki & Associates, an award-winning Japanese architecture company, was removed as the master architects for the Amaravati Capital Complex in the Andhra Pradesh.
Fumihiko Maki, the Chairman of the firm Maki & Associates told the story of appalling governance in AP in April 2017 edition of Architectural Digest (AD). It happened during the Naidu reign. The firm was a clear winner of the international competition for the Amravati project in March 2016, but they were later removed without any precedent. This another example that answers the question as to who is 420 in AP.
Just like everything else, the Chandrababu Naidu govt wanted to give the project to someone they wanted and not the one that deserved it. The TDP government during 2014 -2019 has already proved that they would go to any length to secure their personal interest rather than focus on what was good for the state. Now, don’t be surprised if Chandrababu Naidu is associated with the question who is 420 in AP, as time and again he had proved he was the rightful owner of the title.
Corruption Friendly, not Business-Friendly
In the article published in Architectural Digest (AD), Fumihiko Maki said how he was surprised by the interference of the government. His firm was the winner of an international competition for designing the Bihar Museum in central Patna. By the end of 2016, the museum was almost completed. That was the level of efficiency and professionalism of the firm.
He said that though Bihar was projected as not a suitable place to work in, it turned out be better than Andhra Pradesh, which was advertised as the best business-friendly news state in the country. After Hyderabad, it was expected that Chandrababu Naidu will take AP to the next big level too. but that didn’t happen at all.
Maki pointed out that while his firm completed the projected in Bihar, at the same time they were removed from the Amravati project without proper explanation. The firm was clear winner in both the competition held in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Maki also described AP under Chandrababu Naidu as lacking in sophistication and intelligence as an architectural client. He also said how Andhra Pradesh TDP government was confused and inconsistent. It is now clear who is 420 in AP.
CRDA was a Slave of Chandrababu Naidu’s Dirty Politics
Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority was supposed to work on the project and take decisions independently. But that didn’t happen according to what Mr. Maki has experienced.
He stated that the competition was well organized with a competent international jury led by some of the top names in the industry, such as Christopher Charles Benninger, KT Ravindran, Erwin Viray, SühaÖzkan, Rajeev Sethi, and KeshavVarma, the ex-municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad. They judged the competition in fair terms and as per the instructions given. The jury had carefully examined and judged the competition.
After the competition was over, it was complete chaos after that. There were confusions regarding the approval of the results and the jury simply disappeared. The fun fact is that the jury report was never made public. Here, the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority, which looks after the project for the govt, was supposed to take an independent decision. Of course, they didn’t have the power to bypass what the CMO has told them to do. The CRDA gave up and followed the orders that came form above.
Mr. Maki also mentions how the employees sympathized with them, but they did it privately for the fear of prosecution by the TDP government. The most shocking part for him was that the Chandrababu Naidu has asked competition revisions, but the team never got the chance to do so.
This was just another example of how corrupt the TDP govt under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu worked. It’s not a surprise anymore that the Chandrababu Naidu’s name comes up when asked who is 420 in AP.
Unfair Termination and Appointments
It is not a surprise that the Maki and Associates was not given the contract for the project even after the procedure for selection was followed. The Chandrababu Naidu govt had done it in the past with many irrigation projects and Amravati project was not new.
A new RFQ (‘Request for Quotation) was launched and the Foster and Partners of London, with Architect Hafeez Contractor of Mumbai, were awarded the contract. The queer thing about the process was the announcement was done mutely and there weren’t any new designs shown to the public. It was clear from the start that the govt was hell bent on giving the project to the Foster and Contractor.
It was clear from the two experience in Bihar and AP that former was more organized and less corrupt than the Chandrababu Naidu’s govt in AP. What the world saw in Bihar was chaos and opportunity in AP, but the total opposite happened. All this was due to the fact that Chandrababu Naidu wanted to give the project to someone who was associated with the party or MLAs, from his party. It is now clear that who is 420 in AP.
The Maki & Associates are one of the best architects designing team with a great track record. Amravati Capital Complex project would have gained from the experience. They were clear winner of the competition, but the dirty politics by Chandrababu Naidu denied the state of a great opportunity. Who is 420 in AP? There is no doubt that its Chandrababu Naidu.
Read previous blog: How CAG Exposed Chandrababu Naidu’s Polavaram Project Corruption