There is a concerted effort to direct construction and infrastructure development towards the eastern corridor of Hyderabad

In the decade or more since the IT sector arrived in Hyderabad in a big way, real estate development has been focused mostly in the western parts of the city. It metamorphosed the landscape in these parts and in expanding circles encompassed more and more locations.

From a sleepy little hamlet, Madhapur changed into the most-sought-after address and hugely impacted real estate activity in the city. It stretched to Gachibowli, Nallagandla and Tellapur on one side and brought into its fold of development Hafeezpet, Kukatpally and Miyapur on the other side.

Along with IT came residential and commercial growth and property prices scaled to levels unimagined in pre-IT days. And the middle class particualrly, despite yearning for a slice of property in this corridor, clearly feel left out given the high price tags.

Is it time to look beyond the western parts and turn the gaze towards the eastern parts of the city? Could the much awaited Metro Rail project usher in this change and result in a real estate boom here?

During the inauguration of the AP Real Estate Developers’ Association (APREDA) property show in Hyderabad last week, the Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Maheedhar Reddy set the tone for this with his remarks.

“The growth is only towards Gachibowli and the western parts, some say. But the eastern side of the city too is going to be developed soon with the Metro Rail,” he said. Buttressing his argument, the minister pointed out that real estate prices are already going up in places such as Uppal.

A conference ‘Real Estate: Accelerating The Growth Story’ which was part of the property show took the point further with the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) Managing Director, N.V.S. Reddy, citing a trend world over on cities reorienting themselves to the mass transit system. “Along the growth corridors of the mass transit system, property prices behave differently,” he quipped.

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) Commissioner, Neerabh Kumar Prasad too was vocal in his support of the premise. The HMDA in tandem with the HMR is working ‘intensely’ on the concept of transit-oriented development (TOD) for the 63 Metro stations, he said.

A certain radius around these stations is proposed to be notified with a scheme for high-rise development. Special investments too will be offered for those participating in this growth and it includes the facility of directly connecting properties with Metro stations in the form of skywalks.

Overall, for the city, Prasad raised the possibilities of development along another major infrastructure project, the Outer Ring Road. He suggested land pooling on sectors of the growth corridor with HMDA providing the infrastructure, and roads and projects coming up possibly on the PPP mode.

Government officials also elaborated on various other initiatives taken up in the city that could propel the growth further. On the city not really picking up in manufacturing sector development, Prasad said that despite efforts made in the direction, the sector had not picked up.

“But we have defence and aerospace industries besides IT. Hyderabad is developing even if perhaps differently from other cities such as Pune or Chennai,” he remarked.

However, real estate in the city was not really catering to the majority of the population that is looking for affordable housing. This is where the real demand is, where price tags do not cross the Rs. 20 lakh mark, he said.