Builders and real-estate developers will no more have to knock on the door of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to procure environment clearance for their projects. On Saturday, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the government will be empowering local bodies to issues these certificates. “I am announcing today that you (real-estate developers) no more need to go to the GPCB for environment clearance. This authority to issue clearances is being given to all corporations and urban development bodies like the AUDA (Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority), the SUDA (Surat Urban Development Authority)and the GUDA (Gandhinagar Urban Develop-ment Authority),” said Rupani at the inaugural function of a real-estate property show here.
“The state government is making all provisions to ensure that builders are able to conduct their business in a respected manner. The (government) officials should not be counting your profits. You should be counting yours. For this, both the revenue and the urban development departments are bringing in a transparent system,” he said in apparent reference to the corruption involved in procurement of clearances.
Later Shekhar Patel, a leading developer in Gujarat said, “Earlier, we had to approach the GPCB for environment clearance certificate for projects that had a construction area of 20,000 sqm. This process sometimes used to take at least six months, especially if the environment committee was not in place. By empowering the local bodies, all real-estate projects having a construction area of 1.5 lakh sqm can get approval from the local offices. This will surely save us a lot of time.” Rupani also mentioned that the state government was currently setting up the necessary infrastructure needed for the implementation of the RERA or the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who was present at the event, congratulated the CM for the step. The Chief Minister also thanked Naidu for including three more cities from Gujarat — Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Dahod — the lastest list of Smart Cities Mission. “Each of these cities will receive Rs 1,000 crore for development,” Rupani said, adding that a total of six cities in Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat, have been selected to be developed as Smart Cities.
Both Rupani and Naidu also unveiled a host of services that will be provided by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Under the Smart City initiative, an integrated command and control centre at Paldi with viewing facilities at AMC Danapith and police headquarters was inaugurated. This system is connected to 6,000 CCTV cameras (with Automatic Number Plate Recognition System, Red light violation detection system) at 1,137 locations in Ahmedabad.
“JanMitra Card”, which is a common card payment system operated by the AMC, was also unveiled. It is a pre-paid card that can be used for transit services like BRTS, AMTS, payment of municipal services, payment of other retail transactions at malls, restaurants and movie theatres. An air-conditioned AMTS bus service between Ahmedabad airport and Karnavati Club was also introduced. It will operate every 30 minutes between 4 am and 10.30 pm and connect 25 major hotels in city. Apart from this, an AMC Seva mobile application and a 4.2 MW wind power project of the AMC was also inaugurated.