New buildings failed to harvest rainwater
FLOUTING RULES NMMC gave 392 buildings occupancy certificate from July 2008 to March 2016 but they have not installed rainwater harvesting system
NAVI MUMBAI: A total of 796 buildings, having a plot area above 300 square metres, were given commencement certificate from July 2008 to March 2016.
Of these, around 392 buildings have been given occupancy certificate. This is what the data from the town planning department of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) shows.
According to NMMC rules, occupancy certificate will not be issued to a new building until a rainwater harvesting system is installed. But, the buildings which have got occupancy certificate have come up without installing rainwater-harvesting system.
Mahaarvir Darpan at Sector 27 in Nerul is one of them. The three- year- old 13- storey building has two wings and stands on a 5,500 sqm plot.
As per the NMMC rule, it is mandatory for buildings having an area of 300 square metres and above to install rainwater harvesting plants.
“There is no rainwater harvesting system installed in our society and neither has the builder made any such provision. We are planning to set it up before monsoon so that we are better prepared if there is a water crisis,” said KD Singh, society manager of Mahaarvir Darpan at Nerul.
Shreeji Heights at Sector 46 in Seawoods is built on more than 15,000 sqm plot. The six- yearold 18- storey building has not installed a rainwater harvesting system. “If the provisions were present it would have helped deal with the shortage in the water supply,” said Laxmikant Kadam, society in-charge of the co-op housing society.
The city is facing the worst water crisis since the formation of the NMMC. The civic body began with 25% water cut in November last year when the water levels in Morbe Dam started dipping. The 88m dam has a storage capacity of 190 million cubic metres (MCM) of water, which fell to around 104 MCM when the
water cuts were announced. The city is facing 33% water cut.
Had the rainwater harvesting system rule been implemented strictly, many housing societies would not have faced water crisis. The list of buildings given by the NMMC did not have rainwater harvesting system.
Some of the new housing societies named by the civic body are Juhi Greens at Sector 50 in Nerul, Shreeji Heights at Sector 46 in Seawoods, Neelkanth cooperative housing at Sector 44 in Seawoods, Beverly Park at Sector 14 in Kopar Khairane, Sai Sankalp cooperative housing society at Sector 6 in Ghansoli, Tricity Skyline at Sector 4 in Sanpada and Piramal Developers in Sector 10 in Airoli. None of these housing societies have installed rainwater harvesting system. Residents of the housing societies said that although they know the rule, no
such provision has been made in their building.
K Soma Kumar, general secretary of the Navi Mumbai Cooperative Housing Federation Limited, said the rainwater harvesting system is only on paper like most other norms.
“There is not much awareness on rain water harvesting system in the city and housing societies do not follow the rules. The officials usually give the OC without any verification. They should make sure housing societies opt for it and do intermittent checks,” he said.
Officials from the town planning department said they are not aware that most of the buildings do not have rainwater system.
“While giving builders permission to start construction on plots, we tell them that they have to install it. After completion, we ask them to submit a
copy of the design stating that all provisions as per the Town Planning Regulations,” said Kishor Agraharkar, town planning officer, town planning department of NMMC.
Civic officials said they do they do not have a mechanism to inspect if the buildings are following the norms. As per the rules, the municipal corporation can withhold the OC of any building which fails to implement the system. But, no such cases are recorded with the department.
“There are also no provision to take action against a developer if he has failed to comply with the norms after the OC is given. Once the OC is given, we do not have a system to check if the rain water harvesting system is installed or if the housing society is maintaining and using it,” said an official from the town planning department, requesting anonymity.
A woman fills water from a pipe at Mumbra in Thane. The area faces 60-hour water cut every week.