BRS Govt’s Land Policy Making Hyderabad Unaffordable for Middle Class: Congress

Hyderabad, August 10: The Congress party on Thursday accused the Telangana government of making it impossible for the common people, especially the middle class, to own a house or plot by artificially escalating land prices in Greater Hyderabad.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan along with ex-floor leader in GHMC Wajid Hussain on Thursday, TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin said that the sale of an acre of land in Kokapet for a whopping Rs. 100 crores was a danger sign for the common people as it had escalated land prices across the city.

The State government recently conducted an e-auction of the Neopolis Layout in Kokapet on 3rd August. The auction saw an all-time high of Rs. 100.75 crore for one acre of plot. The average bid for the seven plots was an overwhelming Rs. 73.23 crore per acre, remarkably higher than the upset price of Rs. 35 crore per acre. The State Exchequer benefited by an impressive Rs. 3,319.60 crore from this auction. However, the auction journey doesn’t stop here. Today (August 10), the State government is set to e-auction 14 more land parcels, with anticipations of generating revenue between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 3,500 crore. These plots have an upset price of Rs. 20 crore per acre, with incremental bids set at 25 lakh per acre or its multiple. “These escalated land prices are not only illogical but also highly inflated,” Nizamuddin said.

BRS Govt's Land Policy Making Hyderabad Unaffordable for Middle Class: Congress

The Congress spokesperson said that it was disheartening to see Minister K Tarakarama Rao and other BRS leaders attribute these inflated land prices solely to development. “While it’s a common practice for state governments in India to sell some of its land to raise revenues, skyrocketing the land prices to such astronomical levels is unreasonable,” he said.

“We must question the valuation of Kokapet land and other parcels which are being put up for auction. The state government’s selective auctioning strategy has inadvertently benefitted a few affluent individuals who own the remaining land in Kokapet and its neighbouring areas, as their land value has now soared,” he said.

Nizamuddin said that the inflated land pricing was a looming disaster for the common man. An acre, comprising 4,840 square yards, now costs a whopping Rs. 100 crore. This translates to an estimated Rs. 2,06,611 per square yard. As per the rules, only 2,750 square yards in an acre can be used for construction and the rest must be left for roads, parks, and other utilities. Therefore, this shoots up the per square yard cost to about Rs. 363,636. Imagine the consequential price surge for an ordinary 3BHK apartment constructed on this land, he said.

For context, he said that in upscale areas like Jubilee Hills and Banjara Hills, land prices hover around Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh per square yard. The middle class, who earlier opted for the peripheries of the city like Attapur, Miyapur, Rajender Nagar, and Hafizpet due to affordability, are now left in a conundrum. This strategy by the BRS government has rendered these zones prohibitively expensive for the general populace, he said.

“Post the Kokapet auction, a ripple effect is imminent as realtors are likely to hike the prices of existing projects. This sharp surge in land prices might fill the state’s coffers in the short run, but in the long haul, the residents of Greater Hyderabad will bear the brunt. The city, already grappling with housing issues, will face exacerbated challenges,” Nizamuddin said.

The Congress leader said that a significant portion of Hyderabad’s populace resides in rented homes. This unwarranted inflation in land prices will inevitably reverberate in the rental market, further burdening the common man, he said.

He demanded that the state government reevaluate and reconsider its policies and strategies concerning land pricing for the greater good of the common people, especially the middle class. (Maxim News)

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