HYDERABAD: At a time when the city is in danger of losing its heritage character due to unregulated development, the municipal administration and urban development department has decided to include certain norms in the building rules to protect heritage structures. Officials said the government has decided to adopt norms from the Model Building Bye-Laws 2016, prepared by the Union ministry of urban development, in the New Building Rules 2012 that is currently followed in the state.
“Some bye-laws such as conservation of heritage buildings and precincts, segregation of sanitation facilities, environmental condition for building approvals, and rules for farm houses and are proposed to be incorporated. These did not exist in the state building rules,” director of town and country planning, K Anand Babu, told media.
Sources said stringent norms are in the offing as many heritage building owners, especially in the Old City, were either demolishing the buildings or carrying out repairs. As per the rules, no development or redevelopment or repairs, including painting of the building, are permitted. Ironically, the state government too has not done its part. It has failed to constitute a heritage conservation committee for the past three years after the tenure of the old committee expired in 2014. Under the Model Building Bye-Laws, a comprehensive committee to protect heritage structures is included.
Officials are also mulling special incentives for heritage building owners, such as allowing them to use it for commercial purposes, such as hotels or office spaces, as long as they do not disturb its heritage character. The owners will need to give an undertaking to maintain the building as per norms. They also favoured banning outdoor advertisements on heritage buildings.
For building approvals, rain water harvesting, planting of one tree in every 80 sq metres, energy conservation and solid waste management are mandatory. Officials said the government has also decided to include a clause for segregated sanitation facilities in public buildings. Surveys conducted by the Centre indicated that people are unlikely to use the facility if it beyond 500 metres. The preferable location would be within 200-500 metres from the main entry of the building.
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