JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:12/12/2019

Latest News


Panel told to speed up green clearance for realty projects

NEW DELHI: Illegal sand mining may have ravaged the Yamuna river bed, but the demand for sand is unlikely to go down as the capital will see an enormous rise in constructions. The state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) considers at least six real estate projects in each meeting and recently decided to meet twice a month to manage the high demand for environmental clearances for big realty projects.

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) in its recent guidelines has directed 
SEAC to expedite clearances. According to the guidelines, the committee should make recommendations within 60 days of receiving a project proposal and a decision should be taken within 45 days of receipt.

While the real estate companies and the National Real Estate Development Council ( 
NAREDCO) welcomed the move, environmentalists are worried about the impact it will have on the environment. They also believe it will dilute the environment impact assessment (EIA) process of urban realty projects even more. "We are clearing projects every month. A delay is only caused when the project proponent doesn't come with all the data for us to assess that it is environmentally sound. The demand for raw materials, especially sand, is very high. It's up to the project proponent to find a substitute to meet the demand," said C R Babu, chairman, SEAC.

But using sand is only a small aspect of the environmental impact of such a scale of real estate development, Babu added. "What about water, energy and traffic? Do we have resources for such a real estate boom? We are recommending companies to implement zero discharge systems, rainwater harvesting, waste water recycling and use of renewable energy," he said.

These recommendations don't get implemented often as construction starts before getting an environmental clearance claim environmentalists. "It is important for the ministry to immediately speed up standardization of sand substitutes like in other countries. We also need regulatory intervention to minimize dependence on sand mining. If you look at the projections for 2030, 70% of the total buildings have not been built so far," said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Babu claims that SEAC is going to take its time to assess each project. "We are suggesting that constructions opt for green building certification. That's the least we can do to minimize the impact," he said. Manufactured sand, copper slag, powdered glass and recycled construction and industrial waste are being considered by the industry and MoEF as alternatives, but they are not sure of their availability in such large quantities.

The Times of India (29-08-2013)