The Delhi government’s environment department is all set to constitute a three-member State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in order to speed up the process of getting environment clearance for big ticket projects. A chairman nominated by the state and two other members including an environment expert would form the SEIAA.
The SEIAA will be empowered to give environment clearance to all building and construction projects coming up in the Capital that fall in category “B” (plots with built up areas less than 1,50,000 square metre.)
Speaking to HT, Delhi environment secretary, JK Dadoo said, “All the modalities for setting up the SEIAA has been worked out. We have sent the proposal to the lieutenant governor of Delhi for his approval. The SEIAA will come into force once we get the approval.”
The SEIAA can issue clearance to all category B projects including building/construction projects coming up in plots with built up area varying between 20,000 sq mt and 1,50,000 sq mt, thermal power plants with capacity upto 500 MW and common effluent treatment plants.
All projects falling under category A, including thermal power plants with capacity over 500 MW, airports, petrochemical projects etc will still have to go to the Centre for getting environment clearance.
Dadoo said that the SEIAA would have to give environment clearance to all projects that adhere to the guidelines in regard to the projects’ built up area within 105 days. SEIAA would screen the projects and conduct a public hearing before issuing the clearance.
Till now all infrastructure projects worth over Rs 50 crore had to approach the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for getting the clearance. This inadvertently led to long delays with projects from all over the country waiting to get the green signal from the ministry.
However, in its notification on September 14 MoEF has decentralised the existing policy and has given power to the state to clear infrastructure projects coming up in plots adhering to the specified built- up area. The new notification has also made the built-up area of a project the main criteria for environment clearance rather than cost or total investment of the project.
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