Why Doesn’t Hyderabad Have High-Rise Buildings in City Centre?


High-Rise Buildings means tall buildings and they are the symbol of a city. If you type the word ‘city’ in Google search and click on images you will see only high-rise buildings. Everybody throughout the world knows that city centre means high-rise buildings. You can take a look at any city like New York City, Hong Kong, Dubai, Chicago, Tokyo or Shanghai, all these cities have planned high-rise buildings in the city centre. But the story in Hyderabad is totally different.

Hyderabad city centre does not have a single high-rise building built in the last 20-25 years. It is the Babukhan Estate that was built in the year 1987 that stands as the tallest building in Hyderabad with 16 floors.

Current laws restrict commercial buildings to max 5 floors in city centre, whereas very few areas are permitted to build tall buildings.

No high-rise building built in the past 20-25 years
Over the past 20-25 years, if high-rise buildings would have made their way to city centre, there would have been at least a dozen of them built till date, and this would have helped people seeking jobs in the city and thereby improving the employment opportunities.

What is it that stops the high-rise buildings being planned and built in the city? Well, it is the government that is not supportive on this issue. As per government orders, high-rise buildings are restricted in city centre. Looks like the government is against the development and prosperity of the city!

Even if a builder/developer plans to build a high-rise building in city centre, it will not be approved as the government will not allow, because in the areas that come under city centre construction of tall buildings is prohibited.

In the 1990’s, tall buildings were allowed in city centre, but later it was changed at the time when IT started. The government gave authorization for high-rise buildings in the outskirts of the city like, Gachibowli, Kollur, Mankhal, Ghatkesar, Miyapur, Nallagandla, etc.

Some people may argue that there is no land in the city centre to build high-rise buildings. But in reality there is a lot of vacant land in city centre. Read our next article on, “Not an inch made available for new generation jobs in Hyderabad city centre” for clarity on this.

Unfortunately, false assumptions somehow got created among people of Hyderabad that, city development means city expansion. Expansion in terms of extending city limits.


It is the outskirts of the city that get a red carpet welcome
New roads are laid, government funds are used, power lines are put up, water is supplied, transport facility is provided to have access from all points and there is political support for foreign investors investing in the outskirts of the city. Fine.

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Big businesses don't care for local people

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But when all the above facilities and infrastructure are already available in the city centre, then why not have high-rise buildings in the city centre. Also, with the growing petrol prices, one does not have to spend huge amount on travelling for the job to the outskirts of the city. Think about it! If high-rise buildings are not built in city centre, very soon the city will be destroyed.

Companies shifting their base to city outskirts
Earlier software jobs were concentrated around Begumpet, companies like Intergraph, Wipro, Satyam, Oracle, etc., were located in this area, but the trend has changed since 10-15 years. Many companies that had their company base in city centre, have now shifted to Hi-tech city.

New York City is known for high-rise buildings
Internationally, New York City is known for its huge buildings and high-rise buildings, it has transformed into a city of high-rise buildings. People commute to New York City to work. But, in Hyderabad it is the other way round. People here leave the city centre and commute to outskirts of the city to work.

Google search results of 'New York City '- showing high-rise buildings

Google search results of ‘New York City ‘- showing high-rise buildings

If high-rise buildings are built in Hyderabad city centre, it will not only raise the standard of living, but will also play a key role in employment generation. More new jobs will be created, so that people will not have the pain to leave the city centre to work in outskirts of the city.


High-rise building enhances a city – more number of jobs can be added
If you really see, an acre of land in urban property can create 1,500 high-tech jobs. Creating something like Hi-tech City in city centre can create more than 4,000 jobs/acre (Hi-tech City is providing 28,000 jobs in 6.91 acres of land).

However, the reality is that there is no encouragement to build huge office spaces in city centre. Keeping the same Floor Space Index (FSI) for land that costs Rs. 45,000/yd and Rs 5,000/yd (in the city outskirts) penalizes the area that costs Rs 45,000/yd ownership. Thus, even if there is high valued commercial land, commercial exploitation it is not possible because of the ownership is unwilling.

With the increasing land prices in city centre having high-rise buildings will add immense amount of floor space using the same amount of ground area to create more new jobs.

Having all these things discussed and considered, hope the government changes its decision on high-rise buildings and in the coming years Hyderabadis get to see at least a few high-rise buildings in the city centre.

You may also like to read:
Hyderabad City Center Going to Get its Charm with 40 Skyscrapers

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4 Responses to “Why Doesn’t Hyderabad Have High-Rise Buildings in City Centre?”

  1. Sivaram

    I think it has upsides and downsides as well.
    Upside – They are already stated in article above.
    Downside – traffic, Traffic will increase 10 fold or more than that and with that pollution, waste management, consumption of water etc.

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    • Narsimha Chary

      I totally disagree on traffic increasing 10 fold, as an urban planner, it was extremely major blunder to put all those offices in one side of town. Today 80% of traffic in Begumpet, Banjara Hills, Erramanzil, Masabtank is coming from other side of the city. If high rises were there in City Center like KCR is planning – the roads would have been empty at Panjagutta.

      Also unlike cyberabad, the RTC routes are existing from all corners so these taxis and private vehicles would have come down. If they continued the double deckers – then the roads would be even more empty.

      Foolish choices made by rural background bureaucrats is the reason for this issue.

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  2. Vivek Kumar

    There are a lot of tall buildings constructed in Hyderabad city in 70’s and 80’s. You will find several dozens of 8-12 story buildings. Don’t know which fool stopped this.

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  3. Hari Kumar

    Philippines routed and totally destroyed India’s market share in call centres by focusing on city centres instead of outskirts. Despite this, not many recognize this fact and that is a tragedy.

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