Rainwater harvesting mandatory for big residential, commercial buildings

Nashik: The civic administration would focus on strict implementation of rainwater harvesting in big residential societies and commercial complexes following a recent order by National Green Tribunal (NGT) directing all local governing bodies to take strict action against organisations not installing the rainwater harvesting systems.

It is mandatory for all big residential societies and commercial complexes to have rainwater harvesting system and it has been found that most of them are not following the order. Such organisations and societies could face a fine up to Rs5 lakh.

On March 28, the NGT directed the administration to slap a fine of Rs5 lakh on those who have not installed the rainwater harvesting system. All big residential societies, commercial complexes, hospitals, educational institutes, industries and other organisations should make provision for rainwater harvesting before this monsoon.

“For building completion certificate (BCC) it is mandatory to have rainwater harvesting. Without that we do not give the BCC,” an NMC official said.

Despite being mandatory, in many buildings the pit dug for rain water harvesting is covered with concrete after civic officials visit the spot and give BCC.

“We have no provision to check if rainwater harvesting is operational. It is a policy decision. We will go through the NGT order and see in what way we can implement it,” the official said.

Even the order of Bombay High Court during a hearing on river Godavari pollution had directed the Nashik Municipal Corporation to strictly implement rainwater harvesting.

A sub-committee has also been formed for monitoring the implementation of HC’s order in the river pollution case under the revenue commissioner. During the sub-committee meetings, chaired by the revenue commissioner, it was reiterated that rainwater harvesting is mandatory within the city limits.

“Rainwater harvesting is mandatory as per the law. Even in case of our public interest litigation on river rejuvenation, NEERI has suggested it. If rainwater harvesting is not done now then the groundwater table will go down. As it is, the water table has gone down significantly. We appeal to the NMC to implement the law before this rainy season to prevent water scarcity in future and to increase the groundwater level,” environmentalist Rajesh Pandit said.

Source: The Times of India