S Corp To Charge ₹10,000-25,000 For Each Event Under New Licence PolicyParas.Singh@timesgroup.com
New Delhi : The south corporation is hoping to increase its earning by regulating the booming party business in posh farmhouses coming under its jurisdiction.
Although the public health department grants health trade licences to banquet halls in hotels and motels to ensure that they comply with norms while holding social gatherings, the same doesn’t cover farmhouses which have been allowed to hold such functions by the building department since 2007, said a senior official.
“This is an anomaly that has been exploited by farmhouse owners,” the official said, adding that the corporation will now introduce a licence policy for them. The new policy will make it mandatory for farmhouses to get temporary health trade permits and also help the civic body regulate the industry, he added.
Out of around 4,000 farmhouses in the capital, 2,500 to 2,800 come under the south corporation. The southern and southwestern stretches of Delhi, which fall under its jurisdiction, have a high concentraion of farmhouses, many of which are rented out for various events.
Corporation officials had proposed a fixed fee for each gathering but the standing committee has recommended to implement variable fees according to which bigger farmhouses will have to shell out Rs 25,000 for each event while the smaller ones will pay Rs 10,000, said Bhagat Singh Tokas, the head of the civic body’s public health committee that has cleared the policy.
Currently, farmhouses pay nothing, Tokas said, adding that the move would also help the corporation monitor and regulate their activities. Minor tweaks are being made to the policy.
According to the new regulatory framework, the registration for holding social functions will be mandatory and a temporary permit will be issued for the day of the event. The caterer serving food and beverages will also have to be licensed. The policy has made it mandatory for the vendors to segregate waste before disposing it of after the event. The variable fee structure will depend on the size of each farmhouse.
Senior officials briefed the standing committee that according to the high court rulings, farmhouses can organise only up to 80 functions a year but in reality the rules are flouted openly and a property is often used to organise many more functions. “These many functions usually take pace in less than a month. There is no monitoring at all,” an official said.
In June 2013, DDA notified a new farmhouse policy that applies to 70 villages, of which 47 are in green belts and 23 in rural areas. The concept of farmhouses or country homes at the edge of the city came up in the 1960s. As there were very few farmhouses then, there was no building law and guidelines for them. It was only in the 1980s that the farmhouses started becoming retreats, party centres and holiday homes in and around south Delhi.