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Added costs for ‘green buildings’ posing a challenge in India

Some buyers may not be willing to pay the extra costs for "green buildings" in cities like Surat in the Western Indian state of Gujarat, reported The Times of India.

In Surat, construction of green buildings is slowing down a bit. About 25 property developers pledged to construct 51 green buildings, including residential units, in the city during a property showcase organized by real estate group Surat Builders Association.

But developers are now saying they find it difficult to sell them as consumers are hesitant due to the additional charge they have to pay. Currently, there are around 30 buildings underway.

"We incur 12 to 15 per cent more expenses in green buildings. People are reluctant to buy in such schemes but now the awareness is gradually increasing," Velji Sheta, president of the association.

According to the Web site DesignBuild Source, there is a common belief in India of green buildings as being expensive and meant only for "very high class people."

Tarun Rawal, former president of Surat Builders Association, said people should be educated first about such buildings, its benefits and advantages in the long run.

Green building campaigns in India began in 2001 in an effort to curtail the environmental impact of infrastructure in the country.

In line with this, the Indian Green Building Council was launched to promote the concept of green buildings through a rating system that will regulate construction in the country's five climatic zones.

The council aims to make India among the global leaders in green buildings by 2015. At present, there are nearly 1,700 green buildings in the country, ranging from commercial to residential buildings. – C. Dominguez

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