HYDERABAD:The swanky and exorbitantly priced commercial stretches of Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills and Madhapur have found an unexpected but stiff competition from the streets of Old City. And the reason, realty experts say, is none other than the over 400-year-old Charminar.
A just concluded market value rate assessment done by the stamps and registration department pegs at least 10 commercial stretches in and around the historical monument very close to the posher areas of the city in terms of pricing and demand. These stretches are priced at Rs 60,000 per square yard, whereas the ones in Jubilee and Banjara Hills are priced at Rs 65,000 per square yard, the highest in the state.
Though the business dynamics and customer profile in these areas differ greatly, officials cite Charminar as the major reason for the booming business in the areas around it. “Almost every tourist, international or local, who visits Charminar will definitely shop here,” said Basith Khan, sub-registrar, Charminar, who was also a part of the market revision committee. “At any given time, one can see shoppers crowding outside various shops, big and small, and push carts.”
Some of the most popular commercial localities in the Old City include Madina, Patel market, Nayapool, Gulzar Houz, Mandi Mir Alam and Chatta Bazar, which are home to more than 3,000 shops, mostly textiles and jewellery. Surprisingly, prior to the latest revision, the land rates in these localities were Rs 50,000 per square yard and the price was hiked by Rs 10,000 whereas most of the commercial streets in Jubilee and Banjara Hills have remained constant at Rs 65,000 per square yard since August 2010.
Basith Khan, who sees only around four to five land sale transactions per month in the area, says the demand is more as very few people are willing to sell their land. “Almost 90% of the shops here are leased out and only 10% are up for sale. Many of these shops have been owned by families for generations and they are not ready to sell.”
However, some people have expressed apprehensions over the latest findings. “To compare these areas with the prevailing markets in Jubilee or Banjara Hills would not be correct as rates in certain pockets of the upmarket areas are as high as Rs 80,000 per square yard,” said Rashid Ali, managing partner of United Constructions. “The area around Chatta Bazaar is densely populated. Apart from small plots, there are no large land parcels available there. But such shortfalls notwithstanding, there is a surging demand for space in this ‘zone’ and the rise in land price can be attributed to it,” he added.
Whatever be the reasons, the latest revision has sent the local markets into a tizzy, with many questioning the rationale behind it. “Due to a host of problems, we are trying to shift the existing wholesale market to some other area. But this new market rate has surprised us,” said Govind Aggarwal, president, Hyderabad Art Silk Clothes Merchants Association, who also owns a textile shop near Madina.
“There is heavy congestion in the area and there is no provision for parking vehicles. The shop owners here have to also deal with civic issues. In this scenario, our business is getting affected and I fail to see a reason why land rates were hiked citing demand,” Aggarwal added.