Maharashtra: Panel suggests tax rebates, funds to maintain heritage structures

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 03, 2015 19:27 IST

The Maharashtra government-appointed heritage review committee has recommended several incentives such as rebate on property tax, heritage TDR (transfer of development rights) and offering heritage conservation funds for the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings.

The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) has, however, stated that despite these recommendations being made to the government four years ago, the proposed development plan development control regulations (DP DCR) does not have any mention of this.

The MHCC has been fighting to get these incentives for heritage buildings in the city for years now and the government is yet to reply to its letters.

The municipal commissioner, however, said the DCR does talk about heritage TDR and not all incentives need to be a part of the development plan. The incentives were proposed by the Dinesh Afzalpurkar-headed committee after going through various objections from residents.

There are more than 150-odd entries on the heritage list that have been retained and should get incentives for the same, the review states. The BMC does not give tax rebates to properties tagged as heritage structures and the report mentions that the civic body, MMRDA or Mhada will have to include these private buildings that come under heritage with conservation funds.

V Ranganathan, chairman of MHCC, said, “We submitted the recommendations on heritage TDR and conservation funds about four years ago. The fact that nothing has been included in the proposed DCR is the main concern. We will be filing our objections on this issue.”

BMC chief Sitaram Kunte said, “I will forward the letter by next week after evaluating the implications of the suggestions and recommendations.”

When asked why they were not part of the proposed DCR, he said, “If the suggestions accepted there are other instruments as well; the DCR is not the only mechanism. Heritage TDR is already there in the proposed DCR and if the suggestions fall through new rules will have to be formed to give rebate on property tax, whereas heritage conservation fund will have to be incorporated in the budgetary provisions.”

Dinesh Afzalpurkar, chairman of the committee was not available for comment.

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