Green reforms not enough
“If house owners are adhering to these norms, then the local bodies or municipal corporations can incentivise the public by way of a property tax reduction on a case-to-case basis, provided the municipal corporations accept the advisory from the DDA. This would be for all kinds of plots starting from those of size 100 sq m,” Kumar says.
Buildings to be constructed under the new Master Plan will have to follow green norms. A precondition also of the land pooling policy is that all buildings will have to follow zero discharge principles and ensure that in any group housing complex no solid waste goes out and everything is processed within the premises – sewage, solid waste etc, Kumar adds.
The question is: Will this be a foolproof system? How will misuse of additional green FAR be curbed? “A bank guarantee taken from those availing of green FAR will be seized in case it is misused and property tax rebate will also be taken back. Our intention is to make it as foolproof as possible,” he says.
The Energy and Resources Institute or (TERI), which has developed the green rating GRIHA is in discussions with DDA. Mili Majumdar, director, TERI, says “It is a very large initiative and there are several issues with regard to complying with norms that need to be addressed. In case a builder falters in the construction process, there’s no way you can raze the building. Compliance issues need to be plugged from the very beginning. The project has to be tracked right through the process of construction. GRIHA lays down a set of 34 criteria that have to be adhered to by the builder before he is granted the final rating after rigorous audits and checks followed through the construction process.”
Noida was the first Authority to have included the green provisions in the building regulations. It offers .05 extra FAR to buildings that conform to the green principles and has made rainwater harvesting compulsory in plots above 300 m. In Greater Noida, too, it is compulsory to install five trees within a campus, says Rama Raman, CEO, Noida Authority and Greater Noida Authority.
Hyderabad, too, has been offering a property tax rebate on green buildings since 2006 onwards. “But this has not been very successful and has remained only on paper,” says C Shekar Reddy, president Credai. He is of the opinion that demand for green features should come from the buyers themselves. Depending on their paying capacity buyers should be allowed to go for gold rating, silver rating or platinum rating. The government should work towards giving more interest rebates (at least .5%, to 1%) for home loans for green buildings. In this way the buyer will get direct benefit on his EMI. This will also encourage developers to use green rated products. Last but not the least, the entire process of green rating etc should be made simple, adds Reddy.