The Centre’s move to grant local bodies the power to give environmental clearances for realty projects will reduce the gestation period, bringing down overall costs and making houses cheaper for buyers. A notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has delegated to local bodies the power to give environmental clearances for projects with a built up area between 20,000 sq mt to 50,000 sq mtr.

This will lessen the multiplicity of approvals needed to attain clearance. “The resultant reduction in time consumed in procuring approvals will reduce the gestation period by a minimum of 12 months, making housing cheaper for homebuyers,” CREDAI President, Jaxay Shah said.

The longer the time taken for approvals, the higher the finance and other costs become for a project and it is passed on to customers. “The Centre’s move will reduce costs and boost the entire housing sector, especially the affordable housing segment,” he added.

Over the last few years, the Centre has been simplifying environmental norms for real estate. Through a December 2016 notification, it allowed projects of 5,000 sq mt to less than 20,000 sq mt within the ambit of fulfilling ‘environmental conditions’ through self-declaration.