Including some amenities in the valuation of apartments, villas and gated communities as per the revised guidance value proposed by the Department of Stamps and Registration, could put it at cross purposes with other departments.

Facilities such as lift, power back up, solar power, fire protection, health clinics, green building concepts, low carbon usage and security surveillance are among the 60 amenities that would be considered while arriving at the value of the properties.

But, fire protection is a mandatory for obtaining clearances for high-rise buildings, while solar energy is encouraged by the Energy Department. Surveillance is an important aspect of security. And, in a city like ours, UPS and generators are more a necessity.

Justification

Stamps and Registration Department officials justify the proposal, arguing that it was included after consulting experts. The amenities have been grouped under 15 categories, and if an apartment complex has amenities under any five categories, it will not be charged under the revised guidelines. “Only amenities in more than five categories will attract additional fee.”

Most apartments would have less than five groups of amenities, an official explained, adding that it was only special amenities such as swimming pool, gymnasium and others that could attract additional fee. “In several cases we have noticed, the developer would have added these facilities merely to boost the price of the apartment unit.”

Developers object

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) plans to file objections to these proposals. “We are studying the guidelines and we will file objections to these facilities being counted as amenities as customers’ interests have to be considered,” said Suresh Hari, secretary of CREDAI.

According to him, these proposals were more likely to affect customers than developers as the former would have to bear the fee.

“Various taxes, fees, surcharge constitute about 35 per cent of the cost of an apartment now. With further fee for amenities and also for the higher floors, customers will have to pay more,” Mr. Hari said.

“Amenities in apartments and villas are coming up as social infrastructure and many are fundamental social needs. Taxing them makes no sense,” said chief executive officer of Bhartiya City Swaroop Anish.

Where to file objection

Objections to the revised guidance values published — they may be viewed on www.karunadu.gov.in/karigr and at subregistrars’ offices — may be filed by mailing cvcobjections2013@gmail.com within 15 days.

Revised guidance values may be viewed on www.karunadu.gov.in/karigr or at the subregistrars’ offices.

Objections may be filed by sending an email to cvcobjections2013@gmail.com within 15 days.

CCTV

Enthused by the Safe City Project of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which emphasises technology assisted policing, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has proposed budgetary allocation of Rs. 150 crore this year. At the heart of the project is the radical enhancement of closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) surveillance in cities selected for it. The 2013 guidelines say that the private sector should be “exhorted” to install CCTV networks “from where data generated could be transmitted to the central command control room” and the footage should be stored for at least 45 days.

Fire Safety

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike building bylaws mandate that every building taller than 45 metres should have smoke detectors, inbuilt fire pipelines running through the building, portable fire extinguishers, as well as sprinklers in the basement.

B.G. Chengappa, director (retd.) of the Fire and Emergency Services Department, said violation of these bylaws was rampant. “Fire safety systems should be encouraged through special incentives by the State government, not penalised through taxation,” he said.

Green Buildings

Chandrashekar Hariharan, founder of Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd., said every aspect of infrastructure should ideally be imbued with systems that will increase the efficiency of natural resources used; that is the concept of ‘green building’. How can the government think of further taxing initiatives such as sewage treatment plants, energy efficient lighting, carbon efficiency, reduced usage of chemicals, rain water harvesting, wet waste management?

Lift

According to the National Electric Code, a generator and a lift is a must for buildings that have more than four floors. Though it is not a statute, this code applies to all multi-storeyed buildings with more than four floors, said officials of the Karnataka State Electrical Inspectorate

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