Union minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh recently announced that real estate developers will no longer have to get the mandatory Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study for residential and commercial complexes if their constructions adhere to green norms as prescribed by international agencies.
Instead of an environmental clearance, developers will have to get clearances from international agencies such as the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -which will be accepted by the government. The MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) is already in the process of amending existing EIA norms to allow builders the option of approaching other agencies.
Sandeep Goswami, COO, FountainHead2 CleanTech India Pvt Ltd, hails this as a right (small) step to promote green buildings in the current scenario. Real Estate developers are not to keen to build eco-friendly buildings citing the slightly higher cost; forgetting the fact that the slightly higher cost can be recovered within 2-5 years by the consumers. Sandeep advocates a single-window approval clearance for developers working on environment friendly buildings.