The city corporation commissioner, Mr K N Chandrashekar, has announced that no new building would be given completion report (CR) until it has a rainwater harvest system in place. I remember they brought a regulation in Tamilnadu some years back, making it mandatory for all houses, not just the new ones, to set up rainwater harvest system.
Had this been implemented in letter and spirit cities and municipal towns in Tamilnadu today would have no reason to crib about water shortage. Snag was in implementation. The regulation on rainwater harvest system in Tamilnadu was not backed up with guidelines in respect of design and space specifications for compliance.
This often meant shoddy enforcement by technically uninformed municipal staff that carried out a cursory inspection of houses, in a half-hearted manner. Many houses got through the staff inspection by installing, if at all, a make-shift rainwater collection arrangement for the sake of official records. They all complied with the municipal regulation, but without appreciable exploitation of rainwater resources.
Question is: does our civic body have the clout and determination to secure compliance of municipal rules and regulations? If builders and house-owners fail to comply within a specified period the municipal corporation should have the resources and be empowered to install appropriate rainwater system at the house-owners’ cost. The civic body could seek technical guidance and co-operation in this regard from CART at the National Institute of Engineering, Mysore, and private sector service providers in evolving an operating system for compliance of rainwater harvest requirements.
The municipal commissioner should also consider factoring in following requirements, other than rainwater harvest, right from the stage when builders seek building plan approval from the town planning and civic authorities. It should be made mandatory for builders to have:
1) roof-top solar panels
2) Energy-saving electrical wiring and lighting and other fittings in the common area.
3) Tree-planting in open space
4) Provision for collecting and disposal of recyclable waste.
Read: FAQ on rainwater harvest
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