India – Maharashtra to go green with “Green Buildings”

Posted on May 21, 2011 by

The state of Maharashtra is all set to go green with the new proposed Green building legislation. If the Chief Minister’s office is to have its way then a new mandate would ensure that Mumbai’s future buildings would be provided with solar installations for water heating, rain water harvesting, water recycling and high-grade construction material with good insulation. To further entice potential investors, the package would be backed by attractive tax benefits from the state government for these green buildings.

The government also plans to extend the tax benefit for existing buildings provided retro-fitting of the same are done within a timeframe that is yet to be declared.

The amount of tax reduction will be decided by local bodies – like the BMC in the case of Mumbai. This decision is an extension of the 2009 Government Resolution which allowed self-governments like the BMC to provide incentives to those who participate in eco housing.

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had announced that all buildings with areas of two lakh sq feet and above would need environmental clearance. However, those with LEEDS certification would not need clearance from the Union environment ministry. The state environmental department has already sent a draft notification on the issue to the centre and is awaiting its approval.

The BMC Eco-Housing plan has gone a step further by mandating builders to preserve the top soil removed during excavation and to use it for tree plantation. Builders will also be required to protect the bio-diversity of the area and to decentralize organic waste management. For redevelopment projects, BMC has mandated that 70 per cent of the debris must be recycled and reused.

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