HYDERABAD: House owners and builders, who have applied for building permissions in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, are being made to run from pillar to post for the last two weeks. Reason: oral instructions from the State government to the civic body not to grant building permissions until further orders.
Senior officials passed on the orders to assistant city planners of all the 18 GHMC circles and city planners. Ironically, all GHMC circles and zonal offices are receiving applications as usual.
Unaware of these new orders, applicants have been literally pleading with officials to process their applications. In some cases, exasperated applicants are getting into heated arguments with town planning officials as the latter are unable to give a convincing reason for withholding permissions.
When contacted, GHMC senior officials, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Express that “they have oral instructions from the State government” and admitted they were astonished and clueless about the reason for the same.
Some reasoned that perhaps, the government wants to acquire lands for major projects like skyways, elevated expressways, flyovers etc and attributed the same for its oral instructions. “If building permissions are released and owners construct the buildings and by chance, they do so on lands that come in the way of the proposed projects, the government may have to demolish them. That would be a major headache. Perhaps, the government is being careful,” one official opined.
Another claimed the government is framing new guidelines under its Town Planning Policy for construction of high-rise buildings. Another explanation offered is that the government wants to curb corruption in the process and is in the process of introducing an online system, integrated with the Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana (TSSPDCL) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB). There is also talk that the government is planning to come up with a building regularisation scheme.
Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) president C Shekar Reddy said he had no idea why the GHMC stalled building permissions. The CREDAI will take the issue to the notice of the chief minister, he added.