HYDERABAD: By going ahead with various developmental activities at the cost of environment, the city has plummeted several ranks as far as executing green buildings projects over the last three to four years are concerned. Going by the figures revealed by the Indian Green Buildings Council (IGBC), Hyderabad has slipped from being third in 2014 to the sixth rank for green ‘built-up space’ among cities in 2016. It is also at a low eighth rank among 10 cities in terms of the number of ‘green projects’ even as cities like Noida, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata raced ahead.
Green buildings are those that are designed to minimize energy, water consumption and allow recycling of waste and recharging of the groundwater. Even the materials used are largely natural such as bamboo, wood, clay, bricks and recycled products like paper and cardboards. These help create an indoor temperature control, healthy air quality and natural daylight.
The reason for the steady downward flight of the city as far as green projects are concerned turns out to be the lack of incentives for builders and buyers. On the other hand, many other cities have raced past Hyderabad due to the introduction of 5-10% extra Floor Area Ratio (FAR) by local authorities. Cities like Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai and Noida introduced the additional FAR benefit (green projects are allowed extra built up space) about a year-and-half ago.
Pune introduced a 15 per cent reduction in development charges for ‘green projects‘ barely a month ago.”These developments in the last two years could have given a boost to the number of green projects in other cities. In Hyderabad, we need some sort of incentives to increase the uptake of green buildings. We currently do not have any incentives and there is an urgent need on the part of the Telangana government to introduce some,” said S Srinivas, deputy executive director, CII-IGBC.
Moreover, even the projects that are listed are far from completion with many of them getting delayed for years together. Of the total 172 green building projects in the city , 48 have been completed and certified by the IGBC, while the remaining are in various stages of construction. This, despite the number of projects going up from 126 in 2013 to 172 now.
Also, the cost of real estate has remained stagnant in Hyderabad, unlike other cities where it has gone up by 1.5 to 3 times over the last five years. So, developers are not motivated to spend extra on green buildings, which cost around 15 to 20 per cent more,” said R Chalapathi Rao, vice-president National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) and executive vice-president, Telangana Real Estate Developers Association (TREDA).
Credits ET Realty