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MoEF: Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)


Union minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh recently announced that real estate developers will no longer have to get the mandatory Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)  study for residential and commercial complexes if their constructions adhere to green norms as prescribed by international agencies.

It could be one of the best news for the EEB {Energy Efficient Buildings} as I prefer to call them; primarily because the word “green” has a lot of scope for information asymmetry.

However, there is need for caution and one must have an in-depth knowledge of all that goes into an EIA. Any EEB rating in the world works primarily on a matrix which concentrates on the Building design & product features which would make the building an Efficient Building in terms of water and electrical energy it saves. Some attention is given towards the site sustainability but herein lies the challenge. I do not think it addresses all the Environmental goal as would be stipulated under an EIA act, and this must be taken into consideration.

Benchmarking here would become very important. What is the building typology, what are the sensitivity to the site conditions etc.
EEB rating should become a part of the processes of an EIA so that it reduces the time it takes, especially in India to get the Environmental nod. Through benchmarking  an EEB  Assessment tool can compare buildings within certain geographical area and see if they match to the stipulated norms and reduce the time it takes to get the Environmental nod.

I have as a stake holder in GRIHA forwarded it to the ADaRSH team and would want this to come out as a notification at the earliest.We must wait and see what is the final outcome of this press release.

 

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