Green reforms NOT ENOUGH
Delhi, UP and Haryana’s sustainable building initiatives must be backed by heavy penalty for violators NOIDA DELHI HYDERABAD GURGAON
Governments around the world are actively using the tax system to drive sustainable businesses and achieve green policy objectives. While India is a relatively new entrant to this club and has had several states beginning to offer additional green floor area and tax rebate on property tax for developments that adhere to green norms, imposition of green tax penalty is the need of the hour.
A number of sops are on of f er. Delhi Development Authority ( DDA) recently approved regulations for the construction of green buildings, giving incentives such as 1% to 5% extra ground coverage and floor area ratio (FAR). It has also proposed that the local bodies may give 10% rebate on property tax/service charges. Noida Authority was perhaps the first to include a green provision in the building regulations – an extra .05 FAR for green buildings and compulsory rainwater harvesting in plots above 300 m. Hyderabad, which offers unlimited FSI, has been offering a 10% relief on property tax for green buildings since 2006. A few days ago the Haryana government made it mandatory for all buildings on plot size of 500 square yards or more to install rooftop solar power systems by September 2015. The government intends offering a 30% subsidy on installation costs on a first-come-firstserved basis.
DDA has also approved the green building proposals and will now ask municipal corporations to provide 10% concession on property tax on properties that comply with green regulations. These draft regulations are part of the Delhi Master Plan- 2021, and once these are notified, all those projects with a green certification for green buildings will benefit.
Balwinder Kumar, vice chairman, DDA, explains: “We will give additional FAR of up to 5% to buildings complying with green norms. People who go for green buildings can be incentivised by way of additional FAR. We will now submit this policy to the ministry for final notification. In the meantime, there is also a small amendment required in the Master Plan. Initially, to get these benefits, owners would have to get certificates based on the rating criteria prescribed by green rating for integrated habitat assessment or GRIHA, but now we’ve received requests from other organisations saying that we should expand the scope in the Master Plan and state that all the agencies giving a green rating should be given an opportunity. This is in the process of notification and has to go through a proper procedure. The first stage is over and we will now seek objections from the general public by way of a public notice within a period of 45 days and finally the proposal will go to the ministry.”
As per an established policy, DDA will be providing incentives in terms of ground coverage and FAR for buildings that are on plots of 3,000 sq m and above. DDA has also mandated recycling of treated waste water with separate lines for potable and recycled water and ground water recharge through rainwater harvesting and use of solar heating systems.