From ET Realty
NEW DELHI: Construction projects spread over 20,000 sq metres will no longer need Centre’s clearance, with all stakeholder ministries and government departments agreeing to incorporate a trimmed-down green building code into municipal bye-laws.
At a meeting held last week between the secretaries of key stakeholder ministries, it was decided that the green code will ensure ecological compliance for all construction projects of over 5,000 sq metres, and it should be integrated with municipal bye-laws.
This means that construction projects do not have to come to the Centre for environmental clearance, but can be approved at the municipal level, provided they meet the specified conditions.
Every project starting over 5,000 sq metres under the new stipulation will have to ensure that a minimum of one tree is planted every 80 sq meters in the complex, earmark an unpaved area which is more than or at least 20 per cent of the recreational open spaces, install solar/LED lighting in common areas, ensure exhaust pipes of DG sets do not emit right into the complex, and segregate waste.
Projects above 20,000 sq meters will even have to bring in energy optimisation systems and sewage treatment plants besides ensuring that at least 1 per cent of energy needs are met through renewable sources.
The ministries of urban development, defence, civil aviation, housing & urban poverty alleviation have agreed to the new formulation proposed by the environment ministry. The urban development ministry will soon bring out model bye-laws incorporating the green norms and is expected to be notified within a month.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar and Urban Development minister Venkaiah Naidu recently met to take the issue forward.
While the urban development ministry and real estate industry were initially opposed to the green code as too many ecological conditions were being proposed by the environment ministry, the latter has now trimmed it down significantly.
While the first draft had suggested over 100 ecological compliance conditions, the final formulation agreed upon nine conditions for projects of 5000-20,000 sq metres, 14 conditions for project size of 20,000-50,000 sq metres, and 23 environmental conditions for projects measuring 50,000 to 1,50,000 sq metres.
Buildings account for around 20 per cent of total energy consumption in India. Building construction and resultant debris and dust are also identified as key factors leading to high air pollution levels.