Hyderabad: The GHMC is breaking its own rule regarding height restrictions of buildings alongside narrow roads by allowing construction of tall buildings via the transferable development right (TDR).
The height of buildings is based on the size of the land and that of the adjacent road. However, using a TDR, which is given in exchange for land acquisition under certain conditions, the land can vastly increase the size of buildings. The corporation has issued 400 TDRs in extremely congested areas including Himayathnagar, Narayan-guda and Kukatpally.
The corporation hit upon the policy of giving TDRs in exchange for land acquisition, instead of paying money to the owners. The owner is paid by way of TDR when the property is given to the GHMC by a gift deed.
Under the policy, if an owner ‘gifts’ 1,000 square yard of road-side property to the GHMC, it gives TDR for 2,500 sq yd. The corporation even allows the TDR holder to sell the rights to a builder or construct an additional structure on the land in another location.
For instance, under the GHMC rules, a ground-plus-three floor can be constructed on a 1,000-sq yd piece of land, but with a TDR the owner can build a six-floor construction without changing the setback.
According to town planning experts, who co-ordinate with the corporation, the civic body’s TDR policy was encouraging constructions that violated the rules. They said the GHMC had neither consulted experts nor sought public opinion before implementing the policy.
Experts said allowing such constructions through TDR is against the urban planning policy as it would cause traffic snarls and put greater pressure on civic facilities like drainages and drinking water.
The corporation has to conduct a town planning survey to check the density of buildings and vehicles they can accommodate. The decision to generously give TDRs has resulted in alarming increase of building heights in the old MCH area, which are mostly located beside 30-feet roads. Experts said land owners who were given TDR rights were selling them to builders and taking up the construction in the old MCH zone with its narrow roads. These roads cannot accommodate the extra vehicles that the additional floors, permitted by the TDR policy, bring in.
Builders have been using the TDR rights in the core city where the land is more expensive. It would be viable for them share the resultant flats in the ratio of 50:50.
An expert said the GHMC should give the TDR outside the core area too after conducting a comprehensive survey of the local conditions. The TDR should be given in relation to the size of the adjoining road in view of the pressure on civic facilities that taller buildings case.
Asked about the problems caused by TDRs, a senior GHMC official said the policy had been decided by the state government.