50% of new buildings don’t have rainwater harvesting system | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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50% of new buildings don’t have rainwater harvesting system

While the civic body takes up several projects to ensure uninterrupted water supply to the city, developers and residents seem to be lagging behind in fulfilling their responsibility towards conservation of water.

mumbai Updated: May 22, 2012 01:10 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

While the civic body takes up several projects to ensure uninterrupted water supply to the city, developers and residents seem to be lagging behind in fulfilling their responsibility towards conservation of water.

Figures compiled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reveal that more than 50% of the buildings have not complied with the civic policy on installation of rainwater harvesting plants.

In 2002, the BMC had made it mandatory for all new residential buildings with a built-up area of 1,000 sqm or more to construct rainwater harvesting plants in their premises. Realising the need to cover more buildings under the policy, the civic body, in 2007, made it mandatory for buildings even having a built-up area of 300 sqm to install such plants. Developers failing to comply with the norm would not get occupation certificate.

Five years since the rule, only 3,008 of the 6,855 new buildings have installed rainwater harvesting systems.

Of the 3,847 buildings that have failed to follow the norm, 2,237 are from the western suburbs, 1,290 from the eastern suburbs while 320 are from the island city.

Civic officials feel that the lack of monitoring system could be one of the reasons behind it. Also, the authority of the BMC’s building proposals department is restricted to withholding the occupation certificate.

“Developers employ private consultants to build these plants. Once the plants is shown, we hand out the occupation certificate. Then, it is up to the housing society to maintain the plant and keep it in operation. There is no provision to check whether the system is functional or to levy penalties if it is not,” said a civic official from the building proposals department on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Suprabha Marathe, executive engineer, rainwater harvesting and water conservation cell, BMC, said: “Rainwater harvesting is a simple system. It is up to the will of the citizens to get it installed.”