The West Bengal Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which was passed in the Assembly on Saturday will enable all the municipal corporations to have same set of laws and rules pertaining to construction work and building related activities.
The step has been taken after it was observed that in the past few years, the nature of urbanisation had changed manifold and construction work was taking place in the area under all the Municipal Corporations which were similar in nature to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). It was further seen that the rules guiding KMC and Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) will be able to deal with the issues as they are able to handle the present growth, Firhad Hakim, Municipal Affairs minister said on Saturday.
Hakim said it would help the corporations to determine the time period and the modalities of exemption from payment of property tax on any land or building which is exclusively used for IT and ITEs. The corporations will be able to give additional FAR to builders setting up green buildings. There are seven Municipal Corporations in Bengal. They are the KMC, HMC, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, Asansol Municipal Corporation, Chandannagar Municipal Corporation, Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Durgapur Municipal Corporation.
He said the Act would help the Municipal Corporations to preserve water bodies in a better way as the property tax paid by the owner on the water body may be reduced or exempted for the better maintenance of the ponds. The state government will be able to set up a Municipal Building Tribunal in all the Municipal Corporations to deal with constructions that have flouted Building Rules. There will be a list of business that are allowed in residential areas.
Hakim said over the past one decade, hectic constructions had been carried out in all Municipal Corporation areas. Buildings, housing complexes and shopping malls have come up all over the state and to have control over them the amendment was brought forward on Saturday.