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Single water, sewer lines for bigger plots

All new buildings coming up on plots of more than 200 sq yards in size - both in authorised and unauthorised colonies - will get only one water connection and a single sewer line. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2012 23:22 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

All new buildings coming up on plots of more than 200 sq yards in size - both in authorised and unauthorised colonies - will get only one water connection and a single sewer line.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will also levy infrastructure charges for approving water supply and sewer schemes on all properties with a plot area of 200 sq yards (approximately 1,800 sq feet) and above, irrespective of the number of floors.

Earlier, the lower limit for the charge was 250 sq yards.

"For all such properties, the DJB shall provide single bulk water connections for underground reservoirs at ground level, and single sewer connections," the DJB order, already in effect, said. The property owners will have to decide on the subsequent distribution among flats.

Generally, individual flats, irrespective of the number of floors, get water through pipes which are small in diameter. Now, the DJB will provide water through a single bulk connection through a bigger pipe without affecting the quantum of water.

"This is already happening in cooperative housing societies. Others can do the same," said a senior DJB official.

But the move has drawn flak from residents who claim it would lead to billing and water-sharing problems among owners as each plot will have more than one flat.

Rajiv Kakria from Greater Kailash-I said: "Group housing societies and builder flats are two different scenarios. How can they have 'one-shoe-fits-all' approach?"

BS Vohra, president RWA Bhagidari, said, "Families on different floors will end up fighting over sharing of water."

But the DJB is determined to go ahead as this will ensure residents do not use pumps to draw more water from the main lines.

Explained DJB CEO Debashree Mukherjee: "It is about hydraulic design. Things were different when there was ground plus one floor. Now with so many flats on each floor, water neither reaches the upper floors nor at the tail end."

Change in bldg byelaws?
The DJB will write to the civic bodies to bring about a change in building byelaws to ensure owners of plots above 200 sq yards build a common underground water tank.

Recognising the need to make it compulsory for all such property owners to comply with the guideline - irrespective of the number of floors - the chief secretary has given the go-ahead to change the byelaws. "He approved it yesterday. We will now write to the civic bodies," Debashree Mukherjee, DJB CEO said.

YS Mann, director (press and information), speaking on behalf of all three civic bodies, said, "DJB has asked the civic authorities to get an undertaking from property owners to follow DJB's instructions. The matter will be taken up with higher authorities."