The government has removed one layer of bureaucratic involvement for property developers by easing environmental approvals in a move that may fast-track real estate projects. All projects with a built-up area of up to 1.5 lakh square metres will be cleared by civic authorities instead of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, according to a central government notification in June. Municipal corporations will have to set up committees to ensure developers adhere to the environmental norms. The central government's directive was notified by Maharashtra on July 11.
It will reduce one bureaucratic level and improve the turnaround time, said Rajan Bandelkar, vice president, Maharashtra, National Real Estate Development Council. Earlier, environmental permissions used to take up to two years, he said. India ranks 130 in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, and fares even worse at 185 on ‘dealing with construction permits’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aims to improve the rankings by reducing and fast-tracking approvals