Eco-panel speeds up clearances for MMR construction projects
Nearly 220 project proposals for construction within the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR), a vast majority of them being residential, are pending for want of environmental clearance from the state environment panel. However, the number of such proposals stuck has drastically come down from almost 350 about five months ago after members of the panel decided to take swift action to speed up clearances.
The situation improved after the State-level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC), a technical committee of civil engineers and environmentalists, decided to set up a second committee to specifically consider proposals for MMR and clear cases expeditiously.
In the five meetings that the SEAC-II has held since August, it has heard 129 proposals and recommended 27 for environmental clearance. Notable among these have been clearance for a residential building at BKC by Starlight Systems, a five-star hotel — Shangrila — at Lower Parel, a high-rise by Kalpataru Real Estate at Parel, a residential project ‘RNA Exotica’ at Goregaon and expansion to residential townships being undertaken by Lodha in Thane district.
“The situation is better now as we have been holding one or two meetings every month. A meeting is for three days. We started with a backlog of 350 cases,” said Ravi Bhushan Budhiraja, chairman of the SEAC-II.
“We have also cut down on site visits. Our members go on a site visit only if we feel that the proposal can be adequately understood by doing so,” he added.
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