With HMDA’s revenues dipping rapidly due to Covid-19, the municipal administration department is mulling relaxing norms to allow layouts with 40ft road width instead of 100 ft in extent of less than 10 acres. With revenues set to take a fall further and the realty sector witnessing a slump, HMDA is desperately looking for ways and means to draw more applicants.
Sources said the overall revenue used to be about Rs 600 crore a year with a monthly average of Rs 50 crore. “Now, it has fallen to Rs 20 crore in the last two months. It is likely to decrease further in the coming months,” sources said.
When contacted, municipal administration principal secretary and HMDA commissioner Arvind Kumar said they are still working out on the relaxations to be extended for the layout permissions. “We are working out what is the best way possible keeping future project in mind,” he said. With construction and reality sector set to take some more time to recover and mounting debts and pending projects to worry about, HMDA has its task cut out.
Major revenues to the HMDA comes from building and layout permissions and 10% from rents from complexes and municipal parks’ fees. While there has been an improvement in the construction activity with nearly Rs 550 crore revenues, revenues from the layout permissions however fell.
As per the new building and layout norms, layouts in HMDA should have 40 ft road width and 30 ft in nearby districts. But since last year, the HMA was insisting on 100 ft road width for permitting layouts that come up in above 10 acres of extent. Several hundreds of layout files kept piling up and this has impacted the development of layouts. This also gave rise to mushrooming of illegal layouts in the surrounding districts of Hyderabad, sources said.
According to the development permission management system, HMDA got only 1,324 open layout applications in the last one-and-a-half years and of them 846 were approved. “Now, there are hardly 100 applications for layouts and buildings in the current year 2020-21,” sources in the HMDA planning wing said.
HMDA, which has taken up projects like Balanagar flyover, was meeting its expenditure by auctioning its land such as Uppal Bhagat layout plots. But, it is stopped in its tracks and cannot press ahead with land auctions due to the pandemic and its impact on the realty sector, sources added.
In the last three months, the metropolitan authority was able to get a paltry Rs 1 crore. Revenues through layout permissions had reduced to Rs 20 crore in 2019-20 from Rs 80 crore in 2018-19