More than three years after the by-laws were cleared by the law committee, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation now plans to invite suggestions and objections on making recycling of wastewater mandatory for new buildings.
Under the by-laws, new housing societies with an area of more than 2,000 sqm or with more than 60 flats will have to recycle waste water and use it for non-potable purposes. Exemptions will be granted to existing housing societies that do not have suction or overhead tanks. The by-laws will be sent to the general body after receiving citizens’ suggestions.
While the civic body looks at grey water recycling as a mechanism to conserve 10 per cent of the city’s water resources, residents and developers feel that it will put an additional burden on them. According to rough estimates, the installation of the recycling plant could cost each society approximately Rs5 lakh.
“With no provision of funds by the BMC, setting up and maintaining the recycling plant could prove to be costly for housing societies,” said Madhu Poplai, Pali Hill Residents’ Association.
“Even if the BMC makes it mandatory for new buildings, how can they ensure that the developers abide by it? It is not a foolproof mechanism to conserve water,” she said.
Officials from the sewerage department said that the system, which has been installed at a housing society in Dadar, has been successful. “We want the system to be introduced across the city,” said Prakash Kadam, deputy municipal commissioner (engineering).
“Before the installation, we need to check its feasibility, height of the building, requirements and overall costing,” he said.
Developers, too, are wary of the mandate. “Conservation is a welcome move, but, the method seems impractical,” said Nayan Shah, chairman, Mayfair Group.