Urban local bodies granted powers to ensure compliance of environmental norms


The latest move by the environment ministry to grant powers to the urban local bodies to ensure the compliance of environmental conditions, is being seen as one that will help expedite the completion timelines of real estate projects

The government has delegated powers to urban local bodies to ensure the compliance of environmental conditions for buildings, construction and area development projects having a built-up area between 20,000 and 50,000 square metres (sq mt). According to a notification of the Union Environment Ministry, local bodies have also been given the powers to ensure that environmental conditions are followed at industrial sheds, educational institutions, hospitals and hostels for educational institutions in sizes from 20,000 sq mt to 1,50,000 sq mt.

“The central government hereby, delegates power to local bodies such as municipalities, development authorities, district panchayats as the case may be, to ensure the compliance of the environmental conditions, of building or construction projects with a built-up area above 20,000 sq mt to 50,000 sq mt and industrial sheds, educational institutions, hospitals and hostels for educational institutions starting from 20,000 sq mt up to 1,50,000 sq mt,” said an environment ministry notification. The environmental conditions include natural drainage, water conservation, rain water harvesting, water recharge, waste management, green cover, top soil preservation, among others.

See also: NGT restrains six states from granting environment clearance, for activities in Western Ghats

Ramesh Nair, CEO and country head, JLL India, shared that “This much-awaited step, by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will help fast track completion of real estate projects that meet required necessary construction approvals but are awaiting environmental clearances. Going forward, the timelines for getting environmental clearances for all new project launches, is expected to reduce further. With urban local bodies getting the authorisation to grant environmental approvals and ensuring they are complied, they need to integrate the building norms/rules with environmental provisions. For the same, ULBs need to have capacity building workshops to gain technical expertise and knowledge about various environmental approvals. This will help developers reap the benefit of reduced timelines for meeting green norms for housing.”

Jaxay Shah, president, CREDAI National added that “This is a positive step towards enhancing ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the Indian real estate sector, leading to better implementation of environmental laws. The resultant reduction in time consumed in procuring approvals as well as reduction of costs, will also give a boost to the entire housing sector, especially the Affordable Housing segment, expediting our prime minister’s dream of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.”

(Additional inputs by Housing News Desk)

 

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