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Intach: give incentives to save pvt heritage buildings

Bosky Khanna, Bengaluru, DH News Service Feb 3 2018, 0:59 IST

Historians and conservationists have asked the Bangalore Development Authority to introduce an incentive scheme for owners of private heritage buildings in the Revised Master Plan 2031.

A majority of heritage sites in the city have not been included in the revised master plan.

People point out that there are many privately owned heritage buildings, which should be recognised. They have also asked for extending financial aid to owners of such buildings to ensure better conservation.

Meera Iyer, co-convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), told DH that she has suggested to the government to follow the Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad models. These cities have a Heritage Transfer of Development Rights Clause. "The same can be replicated with suitable adaptations for Bengaluru,'' Meera said.

This suggestion has been highlighted along with others in a detailed reply submitted by Intach to BDA.

Intach has also suggested granting transferable development rights, creation and implementation of the heritage floor space concept where the owner is given provision to sell or buy the property. They have also suggested that permission be given to convert existing heritage buildings in non-commercial areas into commercial spaces. Intach has also proposed property tax waiver for heritage building owners whose property is less that 2,400 sqft, and the same be collected from those who convert the space for commercial use.

Heritage fund

Historians have also suggested creation of a separate heritage fund. The fund should be at the disposal of the Heritage Committee head, where owners of private heritage buildings can avail loans at low interest rates, encouraging owners to restore the property. They have also suggested that the master plan follow the heritage master plan of 2024.

BDA officials, who are scrutinising the draft master plan, agree that this is a good idea. "If incentives are introduced, it will be good as the onus of protecting and maintaining the sites will be on the property owner. By commercialising spaces, the government will earn revenue and it will add to the Brand Bengaluru image," an official said.

Suggestions

* Give financial aid to heritage building owners for conservation

* Allow conversion of heritage buildings in non-commercial areas into commercial spaces

* Waive property tax for heritage building owners where property is less that 2,400 sqft

* Create separate heritage fund

* Loans at low interest rate to encourage owners to restore property

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