MUMBAI: In what will be a big relief to builders in tightly-packed cities such as Mumbai, the environment ministry has done away with green clearances for high-rise buildings based on the width of the roads that they fall by the side of and the distance from fire-stations. It has left it to the state government to makes rules as they deem fit.
The move comes after several state governments — and Maharashtra in particular — had pleaded with the Union government to remove the regulations that the builders had strongly opposed.
The relaxation is expected to allow builders to put up higher multi-storey buildings on smaller roads and lanes in cities.
The rules required buildings above 60 metres can secure an environment clearance if they were on roads at least 30 metre wide. Such buildings had to be located within 2km of a fire station. Buildings between 45 and 60 metres needed to have an approach road that is at least 24 metres wide and at not more than 5km from a fire station. Buildings between 30 and 45 metres had to be located on roads at least 18 metres wide with fire stations not more than 10km away. Buildings between 15 and 30 metres required a 15-metre wide approach road, but no restriction linked to presence of fire stations was placed. The February 2012 regulations also required a no objection certificate (NOC) from the state fire department and the national or state disaster management authorities.
The provisions had been brought in considering safety measures for high rise buildings and increase in traffic in cities.
But after a lot of criticism that found support in the PMO, the environment ministry set up a committee under Planning Commission member K Kasturirangan to review these norms and other clearance conditions applicable to roads, SEZs and the real estate sector. The panel recommended doing away with the regulations and leaving it to the state governments to regulate the safety codes.