Govt Eases Environmental Clearance Process

In order to achieve the target of ‘Housing For All by 2022’, the government has eased the environmental clearance norm by introducing ‘self declaration’ for building projects in India. The changes were made through a gazette notification in the existing environment impact assessment rules last week.

Now, the building projects of size up to 20,000 sq. m. can go for ‘self declaration’ and certification procedures for environment clearance, though local authorities will have the right to take a final call on compliance of green norms.

“The local authority may issue the building permission incorporating environmental norms in it and allow the project to start based on self- declaration and certification,” reported in the notification.

Projects of the size between 20,000 sq. m. to 1.5 lakh sq. m. will receive building permits as well as environment clearance from local authorities through a new environmental examining process ‘environment cell’. This change is going to help builders begin construction in much lesser time as before wherein the fulfillment of environmental conditions had to be checked by State-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).

Once any builder fills an online application for their project to the local authorities, the environment cell will present it at the meeting of a committee of local bodies such as development authorities and municipal corporations. The committee will evaluate the project and stipulate the environmental conditions to be integrated in the building permissions. Then the building permission and environmental clearance will be issued in an integrated format by the local authority.

“Since the state is now required to bring changes in the respective building bye-laws so that it won’t be in conflict with the central notification, the implementation of the new rules will take nearly six to seven months,” says Manoj Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Environment Ministry.

Projects of sizes between 1.5 lakh to 3 lakh sq. m. need to go to SEIAA for green clearance and bigger than 3 lakh sq. m. size projects will have to go to the environment ministry’s central assessment authority.

Source: ET Realty


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