The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), under the Union Government, on 2 February 2017 eased the rules for the clearance of non-polluting industrial projects.
These eased rules are aimed at reducing the time taken for clearances and quicken rollout of projects. It will simplify the procedures to fast-track real estate projects.
The changes were made under the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1981.
Highlights of the new rules
• Non-polluting industries (White Category) will not be required to obtain consent certificate from respective State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) under the air and water pollution control laws.
• On the other hand, the less polluting industries (Green Category) will automatically receive the consent for the establishment and operation, if they inform the expected date of start-up of their commercial production to the State Pollution Control Boards at least fifteen days in advance.
• Moreover, no consent will be required for the building and construction projects, area development projects and township projects. For such projects, only environment clearance will be sufficient.
• Furthermore, all the projects that require environment clearance from the State Pollution Control Boards, will be exempted from obtaining the consent under existing Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1981.
• Such projects will be granted the approval on the basis of their installation of pollution control devices.
The move of easing the rules for clearance of non-polluting industrial projects can be seen as a medium to spur growth through improved ease of doing business.
However, the order covering real estate projects could be challenged in court. Such similar cases are already pending in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) since January 2017.
When: 6 February 2017