BMC to make rainwater harvesting mandatory for large societies

It seems the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is looking at long-term solutions for the city's water woes. It will soon be mandatory for properties larger than 500 sq mts to do rainwater harvesting.

The BMC on Wednesday came out with three more chapters of its draft Development Control Regulations, with chapter 12 enlisting this provision. The chapters have been released on its website and citizens have one week to submit their suggestions and objections.

Every drop counts: Rainwater harvesting is more of a plumbing job than a technical job. Make sure your building has a facility for two tanks that can be used to purify and store water. File pic
Every drop counts: Rainwater harvesting is more of a plumbing job than a technical job. Make sure your building has a facility for two tanks that can be used to purify and store water. File pic

The BMC is currently working on the draft of its DP 2034 and this provision is a part of this process. It has released three new chapters of the DCR and citizens have time until April 14 to submit their suggestions and objections.

The 9th chapter deals with fire safety and structural stability. The 11th chapter speaks of temporary construction and repairs. Chapter 12 has several measures such as:

1. Rainwater harvesting to be made mandatory for plots larger than 500 sq mts
2. Solar water heating system to be provided in hotels and hospitals. Can also be provided voluntarily in other buildings
3. Voluntary provision of gray water system and sewage treatment plant
4. Provision for waste segregation and composting of wet waste
5. If trees are felled, twice the number have to be planted
6 Definition of highrise to be beyond 32 metres

Citizens can submit suggestions and objections on ee.dpr.mcgm.dcr@gmail.com with 'draft DCR 2014-2034' in the subject line

Every time there is a water shortage owing to insufficient rainfall, Mumbai's civic body makes rainwater harvesting mandatory for new projects, but it fails to implement it. In 2002, the BMC made it mandatory for all new constructions above 1,000 square metres to install rainwater harvesting system to obtain their occupation certificate (OC). In 2007, this rule was extended to buildings over 300 square metres. But with no method to enforce the implementation of the law, the move ended up being a damp squib.

How to set up a rainwater harvesting system
RWH is more of a plumbing job than a technical job as all the outlets from the terrace are connected through a pipe to an underground tank that stores water.
>> Make sure your building has a provision for an underground tank. If it is already fitted with a borewell, then these pipes can be easily connected to the same.
>> Fit the underground tank with filters that can be used to purify the rainwater being collected in them.
>> Build another tank to store the filtered water.
>> Install an electric sensor in the artificial tank that can signal when the level of water reaches a particular mark.
>> RWH agencies offer advice on how to ensure the sensors are fitted well, make sure you consult them.
>> It is important that you share the responsibility of installing RWH systems with the authorities.
>> The cost of the project may vary between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh depending on the locality you live in. 

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