Singapore Helping Build New City in India

It will be 10 Times Larger Than Singapore But With a Population of only 1.25 million

But Singapore is already teeming with 5.5 million people

CharminarSingapore is helping build a new capital city for the Indian State of Andhra. Singapore companies Jurong International and Surbana International Consultants have been chosen for the S$21.5-billion venture expected to be completed within 10 years.

The new capital city is to be modelled on Singapore and will cover an area of more than 7000 sq. km. That will make it 10 times larger than Singapore which has an area of 718 sq km.

According to a report in The Straits Times today, the new capital of Andhra will be home to 1.25 million people with a plan to eventually raise it to 5 million people.

The Guardian newspaper calls it a testament to Singapore’s pioneering approach to business. It also highlights some challenges with India known for large-scale corruption whereas Singapore is one of the world’s least corrupt countries.

My Take: It is great news that an Indian State has sought the expertise of tiny Singapore to build a capital city to be modelled along the lines of the little red dot.

But the leadership there is not going overboard by hoping to cram the city with teeming millions and let the quality of life go for a toss. Living in an overcrowded city will seldom be good for the body, mind and soul. Precisely why the best cities in the West, despite the luxury of space there, are staying clear of excessive commercialisation. A less dense, modern city is ideal!

In contrast, Singapore that is 10 times smaller than the new city already has 5.5 million people living there with the Government still planning to give the population a further boost.

Hope Singapore will learn some lessons from the city it is creating from scratch in India.

G Joslin Vethakumar


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