With urban heat islands raising an alarm, the Telangana Government has launched a Cool Roof Policy to reduce temperatures in Hyderabad and other urban areas in the State.

In the first year, the State government has set a target to ‘cool roof’ an area of 7.5 square kilometres, including 5 sq km in Hyderabad.

“The policy is aimed at at reducing heat island impact and heat stress in the State,” said Telangana Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister, KT Rama Rao.

The urban heat islands phenomenon is gaining global attention as urban centres report 2-4 degree Celcius higher than rural areas, bearing the brunt of climate change. The government will make it mandatory for all constructions beyond 600 square yards to factor in a cool roof at the design stage. 

Cool roofing can be implemented by using paints, tiles or other materials to reflect sunlight. 

“We are going to make it optional for constructions below 600 square yards. We are going to sensitise residents, residential associations and communities that it is not going to be an additional investment. You will get back your investments in two years through the benefits,” he said.

The government set a target to cool roof an area of 300 sq km of area, including 200 sq km in Hyderabad, by 2030.

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Addressing a meeting with stakeholders on Monday after the release of the ‘Telangana Cool Roof Policy 2023-2028’, the Minister said while new buildings will have to be cool-roofed, the existing buildings can be retro-fitted using paints or paints.

“I have done it at my residence. It can be done with a little effort by taking up retro-fitting,” he said.

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“Telangana being the third most urbanised state in the country with 48 per cent the population residing in the urban areas, there is a serious need to introduce cost-effective and climate-friendly cooling solutions to counter the urban heat island effect,” he said.

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The policy encourages and promotes the usage of cool roofs. These roofs reflect some of the sun’s incoming radiation back into the atmosphere thus reducing heat retention and cooling indoor spaces.

“From our side, we are going to implement the policy in all over projects, including housing schemes, government offices, roads, pavements, and cycling tracks,” he said.