Owners of heritage properties in Kolkata may soon be allowed to sell to a developer the right to construct — elsewhere — the additional space that might have been allowed on the plot where the structure stands, civic officials said.
The money the owner of the heritage property will earn by selling the development right has to be spent on the maintenance of the structure.
Owners of heritage properties are barred by law from making new construction on their premises.
The transfer of development rights (TDR) that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation is mulling to introduce will lead to better maintenance of heritage structures, the officials said.
The TDR will be applicable to owners of other properties, too.
“Suppose a heritage property has 10,000 sq ft built-up area. A new building on that plot could have been allowed to have 20,000sq ft of floor space. But the owner cannot pull down the heritage building. TDR will allow the owner to transfer to a builder the right to add 10,000sq ft to a property elsewhere over and above what has been approved, subject to municipal laws,” said a KMC official.
The 10,000sq ft area the builder can add to a property elsewhere is the additional space that could have been built on the plot of the heritage structure.
The builder may add this space on a plot not owned by the owner of the heritage structure, said experts aware of TDR rules in other Indian cities.
“We have discussed TDR with various stakeholders. This is part of an overall amendment to building rules,” said another KMC official.
G.M. Kapur, state convenor of INTACH, which works for preservation of heritage, welcomed the TDR initiative but said “it should be administered well”.
In a recent meeting with KMC officials, the Confederation for Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) pleaded for the introduction of TDR.
“We have proposed the introduction of TDR for owners of plots with water bodies, owners of heritage properties and owners of other landed properties, too. It can also help people who had to part with their properties for a public project,” said Sushil Mohta, president of Credai, Bengal.