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Both, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation [BMC] and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority [MMRDA] are now rightful to sanction environmental clearance for industrial sheds, educational institutions, hospital and education hostels that covers an area between 20,000 sq. m and 1,50,000 sq. m.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change recently issued this final notification to empower the urban local bodies including the municipalities, development authorities and district panchayats in order to approve environmental clearances for construction projects.

This move is welcomed by developers and according to some of them the finalized notification will offer a major boost to affordable housing. This is so because now the clearance time will drastically decrease. Although the environmentalists don’t feel confident about municipal bodies taking such call and said that these authorities don’t have the expertise to tackle such issues.

The notification dated November 14 clearly says that from now local bodies can give a nod to building permissions and completion certificates, provided environmental conditions specified in the appendix are complied with. The appendix includes conditions that pertain to natural drainage, water conservation, rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge, waste management, energy, air quality and noise and green cover. The appendix also mentions that no construction will be carried out on wetlands and water bodies.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD of Hiranandani Group and president of National Real Estate Development Council, stated that the Government has simplified the clearances for the real estate sector but there are few aspects that might cause delay.