In a major incentive to green projects, Environment and Forest ministry has decided to exempt small green energy and recycling waste projects from mandatory environment clearance.
No project can be set up without mandatory environment clearance. Under the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations of 2006, big projects and those in ecologically sensitive areas require Centre’s approval.
For others, state governments’ approval is required. Public hearing in the area, where the project is being set up, is also mandatory for all projects except building of national highways and irrigation projects.
The environment ministry in a notification issued on Wednesday exempted projects generating power up to 15 megawatt based on biomass or from municipal solid waste and those from wastewater from mandatory EIA.
“It will ensure quicker adaptation of a vast range of green technologies available to handle increasing urban waste in India,” said a CII official.
India generates 1,042 million tonnes of municipal solid waste yearly, of which 60 per cent can be used to generate power. “The cost of generating power from waste is double than that generated from coal,” said Shyamala Mani, programme director with Centre for Environment Education.
The notification was based on the recommendations of J.M. Mauskar committee to review 2006 EIA rules.