No other city will have the luxury that Hyderabad now has – a brand new city, as big as Hyderabad itself can now be built on the Western part of the city. The Telangana Cabinet decided on Thursday to annul the GO 111, removing all the restrictions on real estate development that the 27-year-old GO imposed in 84 villages.

As a result, a vast pool of 1.30 lakh acres, which equals the present area of the State Capital, is now released for real estate development. This move is expected to cool off the spiralling real estate prices in the city. The opinion, however, is divided in the real estate industry. While some say it will have an impact on the Western part of the city only, others say the supply outbeats the demand, resulting in a fall in prices.

The GO, which was brought in by the then Telugu Desam Government, was aimed at curbing unbridled real-estate development, constructions and keep polluting industries away from the catchment areas for Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar the two reservoirs that acted as lifeline for the twin cities for decades. The restrictions were in force in a radius of 10 km from the tanks, covering 84 villages.

With ample water being pumped in from the Krishna and Godavari rivers, the city’s dependence on these two reservoirs has come down significantly. The Government argues that the GO 111 is no longer required.

C Sekhar Reddy, Chairman of CII (Telangana) and the past national President of CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India) sees a golden opportunity for the Government to build a sustainable city in the 1.30 lakh acres that is now available for development.

“No other city in the world has this luxury now. We must utilise the opportunity to build a green rated-city. We must prepare a proper plan to build a sustainable green city there before opening it for development,” he contends.

Check pollution

He argues that a sustainable city will not pollute the two precious tanks that once quenched the thirst of the twin cities. 

One of the major worries of environmental activists is that lifting of the GO would lead to unplanned growth. This, they argue, would pollute the tanks. They cite the example of Husain Sagar, a drinking water tank, which was completely polluted because of unplanned development of Hyderabad in late 1990s and 2000s.

Impact on real estate prices

Asked if it will have an impact on the real estate prices, he said it all depends on how the sellers go about it. “If all of them go for selling their lands all at once, prices will drop. If they take a wait-and-watch approach, prices can sustain,” Sekhar Reddy said.

Another top real-estate developer, however, differs. He said the sudden release of thousands of acres into the market will reduce the appetite. “Over supply will lead to reduced demand,” he said.