The Centre for Science Environment (CSE) has expressed deep concern over the growing obsession among state and city administrations across the country to offer sops of extra and free built-up areas and fiscal incentives to push developers to opt for green ratings for buildings.
State governments are doing this without setting up an independent, transparent and accountable oversight system for monitoring the actual energy savings and environmental performance of green-rated buildings, the CSE had alleged.
“The CSE review of green-rated buildings had earlier exposed how several buildings in India are grossly underperforming after being rated green,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director, CSE, after addressing a workshop in the city. The concern was discussed in a gathering of architects, experts and media personnel in the regional dialogue organised by CSE on Building Sense in Pune.
The CSE review of the green-rating system and incentives has further shown that cities like Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are doing this differently. A three-member committee under Pune divisional commissioner S Chockolingam had recently submitted the DC rules to the government which included compulsory green rating for all government buildings. The plan is yet to be cleared by the state government.
The CSE opines that instead of giving incentives in the form of extra built-up area, the committee has rightly opted only for fiscal incentives that can be withdrawn if needed. This is a better practice than permitting extra built-up area, as once constructed, it cannot be undone if found underperforming, the CSE feels. But fiscal incentives can be withdrawn if buildings are not performing on energy and resource savings after becoming operational.
“In fact, Mumbai is taking an even better approach. Instead of incentives, it is working on green code for all buildings. While the Maharashtra system can be further improved to be more explicitly linked with the actual performance, other state governments need to take cue from this system,” added Roy Chowdhury.
The reason for this concern over official incentives for green rating is the earlier assessment done by CSE, which had exposed that several buildings, after obtaining star ratings under the LEED rating system, were grossly underperforming and there is no transparency in data sharing by other agencies to assert the performance of buildings rated by them. “The government also has no oversight over these systems,’’ said Roy Chowdhury.