Developers proposing large housing projects may have to make a provision to direct the excess treated water from their housing colonies to maintain public spaces and gardens,or meet the requirement of commercial set-ups and industrial units in the neighbourhood.
With a large amount of water that is processed in sewage treatment plants of major housing societies remaining unused and ultimately going down the drain,the State Expert Appraisal Committee-2 (SEAC-2) discussed the proposal in its meeting held from August 29 to August 31.
The SEAC-2 screens all construction proposals over 20,000 sq m in the Mumbai metropolitan region to assess their impact on the environment and recommend them for clearance to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
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Sewage treatment plants are constructed for all major housing projects. About 90 per cent of the waste water is treated through these plants. Approximately 66 per cent is then reused for washing,cleaning,in toilets and so on,while the rest goes down the municipal sewer, said a panel member.
It is a waste of not just water,but energy too as the treated water gets contaminated again in the municipal sewerage system, he said.
The committee discussed how developers can lay the pipeline network to provide additional water to meet the water requirements for gardens,roads,clubs and small industrial units in the area to avoid wastage.
Large developers should be able to do this as part of their corporate social responsibility. They can take it up either free-of-cost if it is for maintenance of a public amenity or at a concession. Similarly,existing cooperative housing societies can provide for this when they go in for redevelopment, the official said. He added that the proposal has been referred to the SEIAA for discussion,and if cleared will be referred to the BMC.
Ravi Bhushan Budhiraja,chairman of SEAC-2,said,We discussed that developers could provide the infrastructure for the additional treated water to be reused. We have now thrown it open for discussion to the SEIAA. They may come up with more options for its implementation.
The committee discussed that the revenue or cess generated from such activity can be used for maintaining environmental infrastructure by cooperative housing societies or local authorities.