In India, the land is a state subject, which means various state government agencies, including- revenue department, panchayat, state nodal agencies, among others, are involved in giving approvals to procure/ lease the land for renewable energy (RE) projects.
The involvement of so many entities makes the entire process highly cumbersome and time-consuming.
As per industry sources, in general, it takes around 6-9 months to procure land for setting up solar/ wind projects. In states like Karnataka, this time can even stretch to 18-24 months.
As most of the central and state tenders are sanctioned around 12-18 months for project commissioning, around 60%-70% of the time goes in approvals and procurement.
Although the introduction of single window clearance mechanism by some states has greatly improved the process of granting approvals and permissions for land acquisition, there are still many issues that are leading to project delays.
Some of them are:
- No formal policy for land allocation by the Governments of certain key states
- Non-agricultural (NA) conversion of land
- Delay in government land allotment/ registration under Solar Park scheme for ISTS projects
- Land records still not digitized
- Exemption on Stamp duty for RE projects
In over opinion to speed up the process of approvals and permissions, the number of agencies involved should be minimized or a better coordination among these agencies has to be established.
This story is based on inputs from JMK Research; edited by Clean-Future Team