India: green norms for real estate will be eased

The environment ministry is likely to ease green norms for the real estate sector, giving a boost to developers wanting to construct high-rise buildings. The relaxation is expected to allow builders to put up higher multi-storey buildings on smaller roads and lanes in cities.

In February 2012, the environment ministry had laid down rules linking the height of a building with the width of the road it was to be built on as well as the distance from the nearest fire station. The rules had the realty sector up in arms.

At the moment, buildings above 60 metres can get an environment clearance if they are on roads at least 30 metres wide. Such buildings have to be within 2 km of a fire station. Buildings between 45-60 metres need to have an approach road that is at least 24 metres wide and not more than 5 km from a fire station. Buildings between 30-45 metres have to be located on roads at least 18 metres wide with fire stations not more than 10 km away. Buildings between 15-30 metres require 15 metre wide approach roads but have no restriction linked to presence of fire stations.

The February 2012 regulations also required a no-objection certificate from the state fire department and the national or state disaster management authorities. The provisions had been brought in considering safety measures for high-rise buildings and increase in traffic in cities.

The environment ministry had set up a committee under Planning Commission member K Kasturirangan to review these and other clearance conditions applicable to roads, SEZs and the realty sector. Sources said the ministry is likely to move fast to ease norms for the realty sector after the PMO asked for a quick redress.

Source: Times of India

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