HYDERABAD: As Hyderabad continues to be dotted with skyscrapers, is GHMC ensuring whether the areas around these skyscrapers receive what they have paid for? One of the indicators that puts this in doubt is the way the GO number 168 has been implemented.
The GO which came into force in 2012 specifies that skyscrapers can come up anywhere in the city, provided they pay ‘City Level Infrastructure Impact Fee’ to pay for the drastic changes their structure will have on the existing infrastructure.
This has to be paid for buildings above 15 metres. The GO mandates that the fund collected must be maintained in an escrow account and 50 per cent of it must be used for the infrastructure in the same area where the skyscraper is constructed, and the rest for other projects elsewhere in the city. At present, a sum of Rs 500 to Rs 1500 has to be paid for every square metre of the built-up area by the contractor as impact fee depending on the area.
According to sources, the GHMC collected between Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore as part of this impact fee last ayear, however this is not sent to a separate escrow account as mandated, but was added to a general fund. This makes it difficult to gauge what the funds are utilised for.
Experts note this does not assure that the area which will be impacted will get what it needs. For instance, the several high-rises from Hitec City to Kukatpally do not have a service road or drainage. Even to this date, residents near Hitec City have been demanding a 100-feet road which was spelled out in the master plan, and a widened Rail Under Bridge (RUB).
However, fund shortage is often cited as a common problem for the delay. Even in areas like Gowlidoddy, no proper roads or streetlight have been made which are the basic amenities required for the thousands of residents here.
An official however noted that the money collected is most often used for the redevelopment of the focus area in terms of building SRDP, flyovers and relaying drains. However, urban transport experts say that just investing on roads may not be the best solution for fixing the problems faced in an area.