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Heritage Committee's nod not needed for mutation: KMC

Heritage Committees nod not needed for mutation: KMC
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Kolkata: The Board of Administrators of Kolkata Municipal Corporation has unanimously decided that a heritage property will no longer require the approval of the Heritage Committee for taxation, mutation or name change purposes. The approval of the Committee will be required only when someone wants structural change in the heritage property.

"In some cases, persons associated with heritage building or property had to unnecessarily face delay in taxation, mutation or similar purposes because of the heritage committee's approval. Now, we have decided that the heritage committee's approval will only be needed when somebody wants to make structural change in the property," Firhad Hakim, Chairman Board of Administrators, KMC said.

A senior KMC official, who looks after the maintenance of heritage properties in the city, said there were provisions of exemption in property tax under 425 (K) of KMC Act in case of a heritage building under the fulfilment of certain terms and conditions.

For such exemption, one needs to apply to the civic body following which the heritage committee examines the terms and conditions. The Committee examines whether there has been any new construction or commercial exploitation of the concerned building.

If the committee finds that the applicant has done proper maintenance of the building, then such exemptions are granted by the Committee.

The Heritage Committee consists of a professor in Environment Studies, an artist, an architect, Chief Law Officer (KMC), a historian, person nominated by the Director of Development of Archaeology and a nominee from Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The Committee holds meetings once in a month.

There are around 12,000 heritage buildings in the city. Out of these, 1000 have been graded. The gradation of 200 odd buildings is still pending.

As many as 611 buildings fall under Grade I, 197 under Grade IIA, 109 under Grade IIB and the rest under Grade III.

While assigning the grade, the Committee has to weigh the structure or precinct's architectural value, age, national and local importance, and its physical condition among other things.

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