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Realtors express concern over eco ministry's notification

Our Bureau

As per the. notification, building projects involving an outlay of Rs 50 crore or more and erecting 200 housing units or more and generating a stipulated amount of waste will have to seek the Ministry clearance.

Kolkata , Nov. 12

MAJORITY of the big ongoing building projects in the country might be stalled, if the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) begins to strictly implement its October 27 notification.

Voicing this fear, Mr Santosh Rungta, the Vice-President of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), told Business Line that the apex body of builders will soon send its objections to the Union Ministry.

"We are right now seeking legal opinion on this notification which will badly affect the housing projects which had begun progressing after getting all the clearances," he said.

As per this notification, building projects involving an outlay of Rs 50 crore or more and erecting 200 housing units or more and generating a stipulated amount of waste will have to seek the Ministry clearance. "Ongoing projects which have reached plinth level will have to get the clearance too," he said.

Earlier, Mr Rungta sought some clarifications in this regard from the West Bengal Environment Secretary, Mr Hirak Ghosh, who is also the Chairman of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board. Mr Ghosh said that his views on this would be known "in a day or two."

Earlier interacting with the members of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Mr Ghosh said that a study showed that 50 per cent of the State's pollution was on account of the transport sector, followed by industry. Household waste had only a two per cent share. Bulk of the industrial pollution was on account of the small-scale units, he added. He outlined the measures being taken by the WBPCB to combat this problem.

Appealing to the chamber members to move away from plastic carry bag use, he said that this was a major problem. "The entire aspect of packaging needs to be looked into and a workshop has been organised to address this issue."

He also said that the industrial fair being organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in December, in the city, will focus on `bio-friendly' packaging materials.

Describing as a sham the pollution control certificates given to automobiles in the State, he said that many of the organisations giving this certificate did not even know how to take a reading — their equipment too need to be updated. "The attention of the transport department has been drawn to this and a workshop is being held on November 24 to address this issue."

Mr Ghosh said that the hospital waste treatment facility set up in Howrah was already operational and it has been decided to levy a charge of Rs 2.70 per bed per day for collecting and treating this waste. A project for treatment of the State's hazardous waste has also been planned to be set up in Haldia.

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