The tourism department has circulated the draft scheme to UDH and LSG for seeking comments, especially if it is required for the guest houses to convert the land into commercial use.
Surendra Singh Shahpura, a hotelier, said that in the Master Plan-2023, a guest house is a permitted activity in a residential zone whereas in the Model Building Bylaws-2020, the guest house has been categorized as a commercial activity.
“When a guest house is permitted in a residential zone in the Master Plan, then why it is considered as a commercial activity in the Model Building Byelaws. It means a guest house is treated at par with a hotel and no differentiation between the two has been made. If someone would pay the conversion charges and undergo the total process, then why would one construct a guest house? He can construct a full-fledged hotel and avail of all the facilities such as bar, etc,” said Shahpura.
The industry wants the Model Building Bylaws be amended and the guest house of up to 20 rooms be permitted in residential zone so that guest houses are able to be opened without conversion of land in the residential zone.
With regard to the proposal that a residential house with a minimum plot area of 500 sq mtr located at a minimum 60 ft wide road will be eligible, Shahpura said again this is not in sync with the Master Plan-2023.
“The size of the land and the width of the road should be as per the parameters of the residential area. Since the facility is used for a public purpose, however small it is, it is understandable that the electricity and water charges are levied at commercial charges. But when you talk of families offering hospitality services to guests, it is fundamentally a residential activity,” added Shahpura.
In the amended building by laws 2011, permission s for guest houses in residential areas were given by the UDH and there was no ceiling on rooms. The industry said that those guest houses should also get automatically registered in the current policy as they were already approved by competent authorities.
In the draft scheme, the tourism department also said that it has been observed that many PG houses after obtaining approval add more rooms to make it viable but do not disclose the same. By allowing more rooms will help them do their business transparently. However, the PG scheme up to 5 rooms in residential houses already in place will not be affected by the guest house scheme.