Scrapping of 27-year-old GO Triggers Realty Boom in Hyderabad

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Greater Hyderabad, geographically one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, is all set for further expansion with the unlocking of 132,000 acres of land from restrictions

HYDERABAD — The decision of the Telangana government revoking a 27-year-old government order (GO No. 111), which prevented construction activity and establishment of industries within 10-km radius of major water bodies – Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar — and their catchment areas on the outskirts of Hyderabad, has resulted in a big boom in the real estate in the western parts of the city, reports Hindustan Times.

Greater Hyderabad, which is geographically one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, is all set for further expansion with the unlocking of 132,000 acres of land from restrictions following the revocation of the GO.

According to experts in the real estate market, this would mean the city, which is presently spread over 650 square kilometres, would be expanded by another 600 sq km of area making it the biggest city in the country.

“In another five to six years from now, Hyderabad will become a mega global city, competing with the top cities in the world. The state government is also gearing up to provide infrastructural facilities to meet the growing requirements of the city,” said V Rajasekhar Reddy, senior member of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (CREDAI), Telangana chapter.

It was on May 23 that the Telangana cabinet announced scrapping of the GO 111 and in less than two months, the real estate activity has picked up at a rapid pace. The state government has begun auctioning off government lands available in the areas which had earlier come under the purview of the GO.

On Thursday, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) put up for auction 100 acres of land at Budvel under Rajendranagar mandal (block), which falls within 10 km radius of Himayatsagar reservoir and is closer to the Outer Ring Road (ORR), the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and the IT corridor.

HMDA divided the land into 14 parcels, each comprising 3.47 acres to 14.33 acres and put them up for auction. The response was huge. While HMDA was expecting to generate a revenue of ₹3,000- ₹3,500 crore from the auction of the entire land, it generated ₹2,061 crore from the auction of seven plots, measuring a total of 58.31 acres, till evening.

On August 3, HMDA raised ₹3,320 crore through auction of 45.33 acres at Kokapet, which has emerged as a major growth centre, with the highest bid going in for ₹100.75 crore per acre, an all-time record in the state.

The government also made another ₹121 crore through the auction of residential plots at Mokila layout, which was under the purview of the GO 111 till recently.

Apart from the government lands which went in for highest-ever prices in the auctions, several private ventures have started coming up in and around Osmansagar and Himayatsagar catchment areas.

“The entire western part of Hyderabad will emerge as another booming city once all these projects come up. What is more attractive for the real estate investors is that the government has developed massive infrastructure in these areas,” Reddy said.

A HMDA spokesperson said the recently auctioned Kokapet layout had been provided with the most modern infrastructure like wide roads, electricity and water connections. “The plots are meant for high rise buildings with unlimited Floor Space Index,” the spokesperson said.

The layout is close to the social infrastructure like financial district, Information Technology hubs like Madhapur and Nanakramguda and has connectivity to the main parts of the city through Outer Ring Road and other connecting roads.

During the cabinet meeting on July 31, the Telangana government also took a decision to expand metro-rail connectivity to all corners of the state at a cost of ₹60,000 crore in four phases. “In the next couple years, there would be metro rail connectivity to the international airport, which en route touches several rapidly growing areas,” state municipal administration minister K T Rama Rao announced after the cabinet meeting.

However, the massive demand from the big realtors for the lands unlocked after the withdrawal of GO 111 also triggered apprehensions in several quarters. “The average price of ₹73 crore at which the land was sold out at Kokapet will naturally result in abnormal hike in the land prices in the adjacent areas, making the housing unaffordable for the middle-class or even upper middle class people,” another realtor said on condition of anonymity.

He said only rich and mighty would be able to buy luxury villas and flats in the western part of Hyderabad and it would become a city only for the neo-rich. “It will result in lopsided development,” he argued.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin on Thursday said that by artificially escalating land prices in Greater Hyderabad, the state government had made it impossible for the common people, especially the middle class, to own a house or plot.

“These escalated land prices are not only illogical but also highly inflated,” Nizamuddin said, adding that the government had rendered the western Hyderabad zones prohibitively expensive for the general populace.

The CREDAI representative said not just in the western parts, Hyderabad has been witnessing expansion in the other three sides as well, particularly towards southern side, where there is an industrial growth.

“We are aware that the abnormal increase in land prices would affect the middle class. We explained the same to KT Rama Rao and he has agreed to go in for a planned expansion of the city, keeping in view the growing housing needs of common people,” Rajasekhar Reddy said.

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