The Union environment ministry issued a notification last week exempting projects up to 50,000sqm from requiring its nod

More than 60% of the city’s realty projects will benefit from the environment ministry’s recent draft notification to ease green norms for building constructions. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued a notification last week exempting realty projects up to 50,000sqm from a prior environment nod.

The BMC’s Development Plan department estimated that more than 60% of the city’s projects fall below 50,000sqm. Although these realtors will have to comply with environment conditions by submitting a self-declaration certificate, they will not have to queue up for a more tedious two-tier green approval process from the state. So far, projects between 20,000 sqm to 1.50 lakh sqm had to get a go-ahead from the state’s environment appraisal committee — and then a final state-level impact assessment committee. 

By avoiding this process, the projects can shave off delays of up to one to two years to get the green clearance. 

A senior official from the Development Plan department said, “Of the several realty projects we receive for building approvals, more than 60% of the projects fall under the exempted category. There isn’t much space in the city for huge realty projects. However, all projects up to 50,000 sqm will have to submit their compliance certificate to the building proposal departments of local authorities.”

The BMC had set up an environment cell to grant clearances for projects between 20,000sqm to 1.50,000 sqm after the Centre issued a notification in 2016 asking civic bodies to set up such cells.