The endeavour of a great visionary
The Hyderabad Metropolitan Hyderabad Development Authority had taken up the development of Outer Ring Road (ORR) with a total length of 158 kms and completed it few years back. The objective of this ORR was to trigger large scale development along the outer ring road corridor area falling under 1 km belt on either side of ORR to promote planned development. The Government passed G.O.Ms. (No. 470. MA&UD (I1) Dept. Dt. 09-09-2008) comprising Special Development Regulations for the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road Growth Corridor. These Regulations shall be applicable to all areas coming under the jurisdiction of the growth corridor, 1km on either side of the outer ring road Right-Of–Way. These regulations will allow high-rise buildings of 18 meters or more in height in the ORR growth corridor.
After the Telangana state came into existence, the construction activity in the growth corridor is going on rapidly. Number of high raised buildings are seen on either side of the ORR from Narsingi- Financial district sector. For most of the people the growth corridor concept around Hyderabad is a legendary concept and for the government of Telangana it has become a gold mine to raise its financial position. Nobody knows who was the original creator of this concept. It is a perplexing issue.
In my research on this topic I came across a master plan of Greater Hyderabad conceived by M Fayazuddin, an Architect planner attached as an annexure to his book “Housing & Planning for India” published in 1946. The said plan was prepared in June 1944. On close observation of the said master plan it was found that this plan was the inspiration and source for the development of present ORR concept by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority.
M. Fayazuddin was born on September 22, 1903 and passed away in 1977. He pursued the architectural studies at Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai, and was the winner in an open competition for Hyderabad government’s scholarship to study architecture at A.A. School (Architectural Association School of Architecture) in London. He became Fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects (ARIBA). He briefly worked in the London County Council with Dr. Leslie C. Martin, chief architect and city planner of London County Council. His class fellows were well known architects Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, who were members of the design team for the capital city of Chandigarh in Punjab under the leadership of Le Corbusier of France.
In the year 1934, he returned to India to take up a job in his native city of Hyderabad Deccan and joined the H.E.H, Nizam’s government as a town planner He authored the master plan for the Greater Hyderabad, the first such undertaking in India. He was subsequently invited to develop Regional, Master and City Plans for Bhawalpur. M. Fayazuddin was given the task of establishing the first Indian Institute of Town Planners, called Institute of Town Planners, India, and was elected as its first president. His visits to London during 1940s might have inspired him to developed master plan to Greater Hyderabad. That was the time when the idea of new towns was first suggested by Sir Patrick Abercrombie, who in his Greater London Plan (1944) proposed the establishment of a series of new towns within approximately 60 miles of London, to which industries and people from the over- crowded boroughs of the metropolis could be shifted. The Reith Committee, which was appointed to study this subject, suggested a blueprint for the administrative machinery needed for the creation of new towns, and made certain proposals regarding their size, layout social structure and their character. The report of the Reith Committee led to the passing of the New Towns Act, 1946, which formed the basis of the British New Towns Policy.
M Fayazuddin was a great visionary in Urban Planning and he developed the Outer Ring Road (ORR) concept around Hyderabad about eight decades back fulfilling the present-day parameters like ecology, environment, comfortable living, etc. He had carefully studied the topography of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and their surroundings in preparing Greater Hyderabad Master Plan. His ORR concept kept the drinking water bodies like Himayatsagar and Osmansagar faraway from the ORR (about 100 kms length) to avoid any kind of pollution of these drinking sources. Fayazuddin kept the mountain areas behind Golkonda fort forming western part of Hyderabad excluded and to discourage any urban development disturbing the ecology and environment. He proposed heavy industries on the north-west and light industries on the east and the ring road touched the north-east of Hyderabad region up to Ghatkesar town.
The present ORR too touches Ghatkesar on the north-east and the west almost touched the Himayatsagar and Osmansagar and the north-west it protruded to touch Patancheru area. It covered hilly tracts on the west of Hyderabad leading to fast urbanisation disturbing the ecology and environment because of its proximity to the ORR. The catchment areas Himayatsagar and Osmansagar turned to illegal developments like gated communities, Hi-tech schools, Engineering and Medical colleges, despite the G.O (Ms No.111, M.A. Dt. 8-3-1996 of MAUD) of Telangana, which prohibits the construction activity within 10kms from those water bodies. One more aspects is a major deviation from the concept of ORR developed by M. Fayazuddin is missing of greenery belt.
Present ORR concept is permitting high raised buildings of 1km width on either side of the ORR whereas, M. Fayazuddin proposed 500 mts. width of green belt on either side of the ORR in his master plan for Greater Hyderabad. At the time of authoring the master plan for Greater Hyderabad by M. Fayazuddin, the ring road concept was implemented the master plan of Mascow. This might have been the inspiration to Fayazuddin.
The present growth corridor on either side of ORR is going to create an environmental catastrophe because of blocking of winds from south-west and not allowing the polluted air and heat from the lee ward side (north-east) of Hyderabad, due to twin rows of 1km width with high rise RRC buildings on either side of the ORR.
The Government of Telangana feels proud of ORR and calls it necklace of diamonds (Maniharam) to Hyderabad and least bothered to convert the growth corridor into a green belt keeping in view of the climatic control, environment and bio-diversity.
M. Fayazuddin prepared a master plan of Greater Hyderabad for the welfare of the humanity during the rule of autocracy whereas in contrast the master plan by HMDA implemented is against the humanity during the present - day democratic rule. Much to ponder !
(Buchi Reddy Avala - The author is an architest)