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Yadadri plan to include urban and special development zones

Popular temples in Telangana got a big boost in 2018-19 budget that was presented in Assembly and Council on Thursday.  A huge Rs 550 crore has been allocated for development and giving makeover to five noted temples. Yadagirigutta Temple Development Authority (YTDA) got a major chunk of Rs 250 crore funds. In the previous budgets, YTDA was given Rs 100 crore each year, but this time the quantum was increased.

G. Kishan Rao, YTDA vice-chairman and chief executive officer, thanked the government for increasing budget allocation.  He said that they requested government to hike the amount and it was duly taken care of.  It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao is personally taking interest in makeover of Yadadri temple, which he wishes to transform along lines of Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala. In the rest of the allocations, Vemulawada Temple Development Authority was given Rs 100 crore, Bhadrachalam Temple Development Authority got Rs 100 crore while Basar Temple Development Authority and Dharmapuri Temple Development Authority Rs 50 crore each.

During his visit to Adilabad district few weeks ago, K.Chandrashekar Rao pledged Rs 50 crore fund in budget to Basar Temple. The objective is to give a big fillip to popular piligrimage centre that is flocked by devotees from states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra etc. for performing prayers to Godess Saraswati. C.S.Rangarajan, heriditary priest in the famous Chilkur Balaji temple appreciated KCR for giving top priority for development of temples in Telangana.

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GST on under-construction flats slashed to 5%, affordable housing to 1% with affect from April 2019

The GST Council has reduced the GST rates for under-construction flats and affordable housing to five per cent and one per cent, respectively and also increased the carpet area of flats under affordable housing

To boost demand in the real estate sector, the GST Council, on February 24, 2019, slashed tax rates for under-construction flats to five per cent and affordable homes to one per cent, effective April 1, 2019. Currently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied at 12 per cent with input tax credit (ITC) on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats, where the completion certificate is not issued at the time of sale. For affordable housing units, the existing tax rate is eight per cent.

Briefing reporters after the 33rd meeting of the GST Council, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the consumers felt that the benefits of ITC were not being passed on to them by the builders and hence, a group of ministers (GoM) was set up to suggest changes in taxation on real estate. The finance minister said that currently GST is levied at 12 per cent on normal residential houses and 8 per cent on affordable homes, after considering one-third abatement on account of land cost. The Council has decided that after removal of ITC, the rates will be 5 per cent for normal housing properties and 1 per cent for affordable housing, he said.

To ensure that the real estate sector does not go back to being cash-driven, on account of removal of the ITC, Jaitley said the builders will have to purchase a ‘very high percentage’ (which will be decided by a committee) of their inputs from GST-registered dealers. The reduction in rates will give a boost to the Housing for All mission and fulfil aspirations of the neo-middle class, he said.

The Council also expanded the definition of affordable housing for the purpose of availing of GST benefits, to those flats costing up to Rs 45 lakhs and measuring 60 sq metres carpet area in metros (Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai-MMR and Kolkata) and 90 sq metres carpet area in non-metros. “We have adopted twin definition of affordable housing, on the basis of carpet area and cost. We have expanded the definition of affordable housing, so that aspiring people can buy slightly bigger (houses), so 60 sq metres carpet area in metros and 90 sq metres outside the metros, which approximate translates to a two-bedroom house in a metro and a possibly three-bedroom house in non-metros. This will come into effect from April 1, 2019,” Jaitley said. For GST applicability on affordable housing, currently there is no valuation threshold and the calculation of carpet area varies from project to project.

With regard to those properties where construction work has already begun, Jaitley said a committee of officers will draft the transition rules and frame guidelines. “The fitment committee and law committee, by March 10, 2019 will draft those guidelines and immediately place before the GST Council, which will meet via video conference so that ministers do not have to travel to Delhi in election period,” he said. To ensure that the real estate sector does not go back to a cash economy and to fix the accountability of back supply chain, a very high percentage of goods will have to be procured from GST-registered dealers, Jaitley added. “For that back chain, a condition will be put that a very high percentage of purchases to avail of this, will have to be from registered dealers. The GoM has proposed 80 per cent. Whether it is 80 per cent or more, the group will reconsider it and present before the Council,” he said, adding this will ensure that the back chain does not go to a cash-based system.

West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, however, flagged issues with respect to the provision that a certain percentage of goods have to be procured by a builder from a registered dealer. “The industry is going through bad period, (it) should get stimulated but with these complications, they will be caught in inspector raj, they will be caught in hawala,” Mitra said.

Jaitley further said the officers’ committee will also discuss suggestions of states, with regard to those apartments where there are commercial spaces and shops. The committee will look into whether it should be permitted and if allowed, then, how much percentage. GST is not levied on buyers of real estate properties for which the completion certificate has been issued at the time of sale. “This decision is certainly going to give a good boost to the under-construction apartments, because people were otherwise waiting for them to get completed and that was also stopping the money flow into the real estate sector,” he said.

– Inputs from PTI

Update on February 20, 2019: The GST Council has deferred a decision on tax rates on real estate till February 24, 2019. Briefing reporters after a meeting of the GST Council on February 20, 2019, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that with regard to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate on under-construction housing properties, since certain states wanted physical meeting for this agenda, hence, the Council would meet again on February 24 to take a decision.

Update on February 1, 2019: Unfortunately, the Interim Budget 2019 has not reduced GST rates on homes. The interim FM Piyush Goyal shared that the GST council is awaiting recommendations from the council of ministers, to take a final call on the same.

Update on January 10, 2019: No change in GST rates for real estate. Though the industry was hoping for a revision in GST rates for under construction houses, in the January 10, 2019 session of the committee, differences of opinion came about on including real estate under the Goods and Services Tax. So, the council decided to form a seven-member group of ministers to deliberate further.

Update on December 22, 2018: While the real estate sector was hoping for a downward revision or reduction in GST rates for under construction houses, the committee has maintained the status quo on GST rates for the real estate sector. However, industry experts are hoping for a revision in GST rates for under construction houses, in the January 2019 session of the committee.

The GST Bill was approved in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2017 with four supplementary legislations- The Central GST Bill, 2017; The Integrated GST Bill, 2017; The GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and The Union Territory GST Bill, 2017.

At the debate preceding the passing of the bills, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the GST, which will usher in a uniform indirect tax regime in the country, will make commodities ‘slightly cheaper.’ “Today, you have tax on tax, you have cascading effect. When all of that is removed, goods will become slightly cheaper,” he said. On why the GST Council has decided on multiple GST rates, Jaitley said one rate would be ‘highly regressive as hawai chappal and BMW cannot be taxed at the same rate.’

Intent of the GST

The GST will subsume central excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies to create a uniform market. GST is expected to boost GDP growth by about 2 per cent and check tax evasion. States will have to pass their State GST or SGST law that will allow them to levy sales tax after levies like VAT are subsumed.

Tax structure under the GST

In the GST Council meeting held on February 24, 2019, the decision was made to cut tax on under construction residential houses to 5 per cent, from 12 per cent. It was also decided to slash the GST rate on affordable housing, to 1 per cent from 8 per cent, as per Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. These changes are applicable from April 1, 2019. As per industry experts, the elimination of input credit tax benefit may hit profitability for the supply side; however, the potential demand generation as a result of this move will outweigh any possible negative aspects, leading to greater sales numbers and revenues.

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KCR promises to scrap GO 111 on catchment areas

KCR promises to scrap GO 111 on catchment areas

Addressing a public meeting at Chevella, he said that GO 111 was redundant as the two reservoirs on the city’s outskirts were no longer sources of drinking water for the people of Hyderabad.

In an announcement that would bring cheer to farmers on the city’s peripheries, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday promised ryots in the catchment areas of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar that the Government Order (GO) No 111 of 1996 will be scrapped once the TRS comes to power again.

Addressing a public meeting at Chevella, he said that GO 111 was redundant as the two reservoirs on the city’s outskirts were no longer sources of drinking water for the people of Hyderabad. “The city is getting water from both Godavari and Krishna rivers,” he said.

The GO prohibits industries, major hotels, residential colonies and other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, extending up to 10 km from the Full Tank Level (FTL) of the water bodies. The Chef Minister said farmers in the area will get good price for their lands once the GO is scrapped. Chandrashekhar Rao, in the same breath, cautioned the farmers not to dispose of the lands in their possession.

He said he will come out with a new GO after scrapping the existing one after the December 7 elections, and sit with the people from the constituency to address their problems.

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Power companies should adapt to changes: KTR The public sector power companies must compete with their private counterparts in power supply.

Hyderabad: Power generation, transmission and distribution companies must adapt to changing times and use latest technology including smart meters to conserve energy as well as ensure uninterrupted quality power to consumers in the State, said TRS working president and Sircilla MLA KT Rama Rao. He said the public sector power companies must compete with their private counterparts in power supply.

Releasing the diary of Telangana Electricity Engineers Association (TEEA) on the occasion of 12th formation day celebrations near Mint Compound on Monday evening, Rama Rao said the State had registered 13% growth rate in industrial development and secured top position in the country. He attributed the achievement to the hard work of electricity department employees who cooperated with the State government in realising uninterrupted power supply. He recalled that uninterrupted power supply played a crucial role in TRS retaining power in the State
“Today, electricity is one of most essential commodities. The TRS government was able to overcome a severe power crisis and implement uninterrupted supply of power in the State. Telangana is the only State to provide uninterrupted and free power to agriculture sector,” he said.

Rama Rao stated that the power sector will be facing new challenges in future due to increasing consumption. He emphasised the need for electricity department employees to be prepared as the Chief Minister’s dream projects like Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme that require power supply were nearing completion.

He said TSGenco and TSTransco chairman and managing director D Prabhakar Rao was an experienced person to deal with these issues and urged the employees to extend complete cooperation. He stated that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was aware of the issues plaguing the electricity employees and he will make efforts for their speedy redressal.
MLA V Srinivas Goud, TEEA president Shivaji and others also spoke on the occasion.

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Mega concrete pour at Medigadda

The Kaleshwaram Project Chief Engineer N Venkateswarlu informed Telangana Today that 90,055 cubic metres of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) was laid on the Medigadda barrage spill way and its piers.

The mega concrete pour at Medigadda barrage of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), which turned out to be a continuing saga, has set an all time record. Commenced at 8 am on December 22, the men and machines that have been engaged in exercise continued to work in shifts. The Kaleshwaram Project Chief Engineer N Venkateswarlu informed Telangana Today that 90,055 cubic metres of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) was laid on the Medigadda barrage spill way and its piers. One more day of work would take it to one lakh cubic metres, which is a record in itself.

He said 16,722 cubic metres of concrete pour was done on the first day. On an average, about 7,000-8,000 cubic metres of concrete pour was being done every day. He explained that over lakh cubic metres of concrete pour was yet to be done on the barrage, one of the six important works need to be completed by March 2019 to commission the project for giving water to the ayacut from next kharif. As desired by the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao implementation of the project works has been put on fast track. Undeterred by the cold wave sweeping across the State, men and machines have been carrying out their work even under flood lights.

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Expedite work on Kaleshwaram: KCR KCR for supply of Godavari water for irrigation from June and lifting of water to Mid Manair dam from next monsoon

Hyderabad/Karimnagar: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday directed Irrigation Department officials to expedite construction works of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) and complete the Medigadda barrage by the end of March. He wanted supply of Godavari water for irrigation from June under any circumstances and lifting of water to Mid Manair dam from next monsoon.

The Chief Minister was keen on completing the coffer dam works in Godavari River and conduct of trial runs in April. He instructed officials to take up civil, electrical and mechanical works concurrently in all the project sites round-the-clock to meet the deadlines.

On his first field visit after taking charge as the Chief Minister for a second consecutive term, Chandrashekhar Rao visited the project site and examined the ongoing works at Medigadda barrage, Kannepalli pumphouse and Annaram barrage under KLIS in Jayashankar Bhupalpalli and Peddapalli districts on Tuesday. He will stay overnight at his residence in Theegalaguttapalli on Karimnagar outskirts and will resume the field visit on Wednesday and inspect progress of Sundilla barrage and other works.

Aerial survey
As part of the field trip, the Chief Minister went to Medigadda barrage construction site where he conducted an aerial survey in the helicopter before landing. He inquired about the progress of the main barrage, setting up of gates and other works. Of the 85 gates, 12 were already fixed and the remaining gates were in various stages of implementation, the engineers informed the Chief Minister. Kaleshwaram project Chief Engineer N Venkateshwarlu and representatives of construction agencies explained the progress of works through a photo exhibition on the occasion.

Chandrashekhar Rao reminded that people of Telangana, particularly farmers, were waiting for completion of Kaleshwaram project with bated breath, and the officials need to speed up the works on a war-footing to fulfil the aspirations of the people. “All the works must be completed by March 31. Trials runs should be conducted during April and May, besides addressing pending issues during the period. The project should be operational from June under any circumstance,” he said. He reiterated that there was no dearth of funds for the project and asked them not to compromise with regard to project safety and completion within the stipulated time.

Civil works
The Chief Minister instructed the authorities to take up civil works, including construction of pumphouses and fixing of motors simultaneously. He asked them to complete the earth works and revetment walls up to the full reservoir level. He also examined the operation of the gates at Medigadda barrage and directed the officials to complete the raft foundation work of the barrage by this month end. The contract agency officials were instructed to take up concrete works of at least 10,000 cu.m per day.

Later, Chandrashekhar Rao inspected the forebay and head regulator works at Kannepalli pumphouse. He suggested that the 11 pumps should be fixed by March end, to facilitate trial runs at Kannepalli. The officials informed him that the motor pumps had reached Chennai port and were being transported by road to the project site. He also called up TSTransco Chairman and Managing Director D Prabhakar Rao over telephone and directed him to complete the sub-station works to ensure adequate power supply to the pumphouses. He also inspected the works at Annarage barrage.

Chief Secretary SK Joshi, DGP Mahender Reddy, Government Whip Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, MLAs Vemula Prashanth Reddy, N Diwakar Rao, Gandra Venkatramana Reddy, D Sridhar Babu, Seethakka, Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation Chairman and CM’s political secretary Seri Subhash Reddy, Government Advisor G Vivek, Engineer-in-Chief Muralidhar Rao and others accompanied the Chief Minister.

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Salarjung pedestrian bridge design gets nod

The estimated cost of the structure is expected to be around Rs 231.5 crore

The plans to construct a new pedestrian bridge across River Musi opposite the Salar Jung Museum is gathering steam with Chief Secretary SK Joshi approving the architectural drawings of the structure to be constructed at a cost of Rs 231.5 crore.

The plans also include construction of a multilevel car parking at the Quli Qutb Shah Complex. Ever since the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) launched the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP), there has been a demand for an additional bridge across River Musi to accommodate hawkers and petty vendors.

At present, the displaced workers have been provided space at the bus depot for conducting their business. The State government had instructed officials to ensure that the livelihood of hawkers and petty vendors was not affected due to CPP works and wanted them to come up with a plan of action.

Accordingly, the officials on Monday submitted architectural drawings of the proposed pedestrian bridge during the 5th Board Meeting of the Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary here.

The proposed construction of the additional bridge across River Musi is being planned to accommodate fruit vendors between Nayapul and its adjoining bridge.

During the meeting, the consultants submitted the revised layouts, architectural plan and detailed project report, which were placed before the Board of Directors for approval. After the meeting, officials were given the nod to invite tenders for executing the project on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar, HRDCL Chief Engineer Mohan Naik and other senior officials attended the meeting, according to a press release.

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Logistic parks in city under PPP mode

These projects are to be developed under public private partnership mode. The HMDA has already selected Deolite Touche Tohmatsu India LLP as Transaction Advisor for taking up the projects

Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) is intensifying efforts to construct logistic parks and Inter City Bus Terminals (ICBT) at Miyapur, Pedda Amberpet, Shamshabad, Shamirpet, Patancheru and Manoharabad.

These projects are to be developed under public private partnership mode. The HMDA has already selected Deolite Touche Tohmatsu India LLP as Transaction Advisor for taking up the projects.

The agency will be responsible for conceptualising, preparing the project requirements duly carrying out the studies. It has commenced its activity, and the expression of interest cum RFP for selection of developer will be prepared within four months.

On finalisation of feasibility, project reports and studies, the EOI cum RFP would be invited from the prospective bidders to take up the project on PPP mode with revenue share model, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the construction of a logistic park at Batasingaram and Mangalpally are going on at brisk progress, commercial operations are to commence shortly.

The parks are being constructed to meet the increasing demand for facilities related to freight logistics considering the location and the strategic advantages of Hyderabad, the release added.

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Buy more but don’t sell land: KTR Says TRS government will be taking up many development programmes in city

Hyderabad: IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao advised people not to sell land in Hyderabad and suggested that instead, they should purchase more, if possible, since the TRS government would be taking up many more development programmes.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao would be laying the foundation for the Regional Ring Road to facilitate better connectivity with Hyderabad. The RRR would come up beyond Outer Ring Road and the both will be connected with spiral roads, he said.

The government, under its plans to decentralise growth in the city, was focusing on a Look East policy and was working on improving infrastructure in Uppal, Nagole and other areas of the East Zone, he said.

“Shilparamam is being built, and a new company, which will provide employment to nearly 5,000 people, is coming up in Uppal. The details will be disclosed shortly,” Rao said, recalling the Chief Minister’s announcement that Rs 15,000 crore would be sanctioned to improve infrastructure and take up different development works in the city every year.

A ring main was being constructed for developing an inter-connecting waterline grid around 158 km of the ORR to ensure sufficient water supply to the city. This would help in drawing sufficient water from the Godavari and supply the same to the city if water levels plummet in the Krishna. It could also be used for drawing water from the Krishna when there is scarcity in the Godavari, he said.

With Metro, transportation had eased a bit and there was a need to extend it to different areas. Plans were being laid to construct Metro lines connecting Chandanagar-Lakdikapul, Nagole-LB Nagar- Falaknuma-Shamshabad and Gachibowli-Shamshabad routes, he said, adding that an elevated BRTS was also being proposed. Skywalks were also planned in different areas, and these projects would be taken up at the earliest.

Extend RERA deadline: TBF

The Telangana Builders Federation appealed to the government to extend the last date for mandatory registration with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) by a couple of months, citing elections and other reasons. The last date for registration of builders, projects and promoters with RERA is November 30.

With elections fast approaching, officials were busy, and builders needed to collect and upload many documents. This exercise was consuming a lot of time. In addition to this, many builders needed to have more awareness about RERA as they were unorganised, said TBF general secretary J Venkat Reddy.

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Getting Hyderabad future-ready

After the formation of Telangana, Hyderabad has shot into global limelight as one of the most liveable cities in India. While on one hand, the fast growing economy is providing opportunities for citizens to grow and fulfil their aspirations, on the other, the city is growing bigger by the day, making it increasingly difficult to manage.

We highlight the broad challenges as well as areas with potential and suggest four key strategies in a comprehensive approach for future planning and development of Hyderabad for policymakers, administrators and political leaders.

The focus has to be on regulating urban sprawl, providing efficient regional connectivity between Hyderabad and surrounding districts, leveraging Hyderabad’s growth to develop backward areas in the region, development of viable economic sectors to support all-round growth, provision of adequate water supply to sustain this growth and ensuring a balanced and good quality of life for the residents of Hyderabad and adjacent districts.

Hub for Telangana
Hyderabad has been historically known as a vibrant centre for art, culture, cuisine, trade and commerce. It has also been for many centuries an important political centre from where, always, a larger region has been ruled. Throughout the five centuries of its prominence, Hyderabad has been well-known nationally and internationally.

The turning point for Hyderabad post-independence came when the Telangana State was formed with Hyderabad being retained as the capital of the new State. This meant that the economic powerhouse of Hyderabad would now serve a comparatively smaller new State of Telangana.

After the creation of Telangana State in 2014, Hyderabad overcame uncertainties and continued on the growth path. Buoyed by innovative and development-friendly policies of the State government, it quickly became one of the fastest growing cities in India, winning multiple recognitions across the world as a preferred city.

Telangana now scores the highest in the EoDB index of India. Hyderabad is resurgent and its growth story is speeding. Investments keep pouring into Hyderabad ensuring the cycle of economic development continues to spur real estate development. An affable climate supported by good living conditions with higher standards of physical infrastructure and affordability makes Hyderabad among the most preferred destinations for work and home.

The Challenges
But like other cities, Hyderabad too now faces the problems of urban sprawl. Earlier attempts to prepare master plans/land use plans defining specific purposes for specific locations were intended to channelise growth and balanced development.

However, market economics ruled the type and direction of growth. Physical and natural environment took the first brunt of such growth. The economy kept growing but the city also kept expanding, putting immense pressure on the civic agencies to provide even the basic infrastructure.

While the city grew on most fronts, quality of life suffered on many parameters. High population growth rates, increasing traffic, congestion, infrastructural challenges in water supply, sewage, solid waste management, pollution, public health and other socio-economic issues come to the fore.

It is important to note that Hyderabad is a radially outward growing city. The inner ring road is fully within the core city area. Next is the ORR (outer ring road), which is 162-km long and encircles around 1,800 sq km. The GHMC is around 650 sq km in extent and contained within the ORR. Most of this area is developed and constructed.

The RRR (regional ring road) is much farther away and almost co-terminus with the HMDA boundary. It is 330 km long and encircles around 7,000 sq km. Thus there are three major rings (two exist on ground and one in the planning stage) in the spatial structure of Hyderabad. Connecting these are the major arterials, which radiate outwards out of which there are 14 arms of National and State highways and other major roads, which form a broad skeletal network.

Ground Reality
It is well understood that Hyderabad kept growing exponentially and this led to a continuous increase in demand for urban land. Enabling a good life for the aspirant citizens who keep flocking into this historic city for economic prosperity is important. Master plans prepared were intended for regulating the growth and to have a balanced development while retaining the unique character of each area.

However, the ground reality clearly indicates that continuous expansion of urban development leading to unmanageable urban sprawl is making it quite a complex urban fabric. Economics apart, this has created a huge challenge for governments to manage civic services and for citizens to have a good quality of urban life.

With the creation of HMDA, the growth trajectory of Hyderabad, and the city being the hub for Telangana State, the key question for policymakers is what urban pattern should Hyderabad follow in the future? It is clear that static plans will only serve a limited purpose.

Land being a basic commodity for growth and an important factor for satisfying human needs, it becomes all the more important to use it properly and to strategise land development plans keeping in view the environment and human quality of life as a central theme for future development.

Dynamic Planning
What is needed for Hyderabad is a dynamic planning system, flexible yet structurally sound, regulatory in nature and proactive is channelising growth to intended areas and with required standards of living.

We will highlight four major strategies — compact city surrounded by satellite cities; integration of RRR with these cities; development of five backward districts and planning for drinking water — in the concluding part. These need to be explored and implemented as part of a holistic approach covering other major thrust areas to make Hyderabad future-ready.