Environment approvals ease to support housing supply, increase local bodies’ role
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s recent notification granting permission to local bodies stipulate environmental conditions while providing building permission for building or construction projects between 50,000 sq meters and 1.50 lakh sq meters built-up area is expected to support housing supply, said rating agency ICRA.
The move will also increase the role of local bodies such as municipalities, development authorities and district panchayats, it added.
”The recent notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change can prove to be an impetus to the housing and construction sector… It will partly underpin the housing supply target of the government over the near-to-medium term,” said Shubham Jain, Vice President and Group Head, ICRA.
According to Jain, the move will not only ease the approval process by substituting the environment clearance approval with self-declaration for certain projects, thereby improving the launch pipeline and saving on the time and cost for developers but will also improve the ease of doing business.
The easing of environment clearance approval is expected to support the housing supply by reducing the time taken to commence projects having built-up area between 5.39 lakh sq ft and 16.14 lakh sq. ft.
The notification defines built-up area or covered area on all the floors put together including its basement and other service areas, which are proposed in the buildings or construction projects. Projects with more than 20,000 sq. meter and up to 50,000 sq meter of a built-up area were already exempted.
The local bodies are expected to integrate the environmental norms in the necessary bye-laws and issue the completion certificate upon satisfaction of the same.
Further, the notification states that Townships and Area Development projects, as well as industrial sheds, educational institutions, hospitals and hostels for educational institutions having more than 1.50 lakh sq meters built-up area and covering an area greater than 50 hectares, will require an environmental assessment report.