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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra.sen­gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

PRAFUL GANGURDE

A woman fills wa­ter from a pipe at Mum­bra in Thane. The area faces 60-hour wa­ter cut ev­ery week.

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