All clearance will now be done at the state level and for this purpose, a State Authority will be created.
Moreover, automobile industry and flyovers have been exempted from the need of environmental clearance at all.
As many as 19 categories of industries have been added in the list of projects that require clearance and seven categories listed in the draft notification, which was issued last year, have been taken out.
No environmental clearance even by the State Authority will be required for projects having a built up area of up to 25000 sqm.
The new rules recognise the peculiar nature of the construction industry in which projects were often delayed because of various stages of clearance required, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forest Chandar Mohan said here.
The delegation of sweeping powers given to states in clearing construction projects has been strongly opposed by NGOs and public bodies.
The provision of public hearing before giving a go ahead to builders has also been done away with in the final notification.
However, the public can post its views on the concerned department's website.
The changes, much to the builders' relief, have been brought after intense pressure by states, sources in the Ministry said.
The cost of the projects is no more among the criteria for their categorisation. Different criteria have been set up for different sectors.
Environment NGOs like the Campaign for Environmental Justice (CEJ) had been opposing the powers given to states, arguing that they were not technically well equipped to assess the impact on environment of big construction projects.
The construction industry had been seeking complete exemption from EIA guidelines, saying that it would hinder the growth of real estate.
UNI NAZ VD HS1848