At a time when the city is facing severe water crisis with no new water source in sight, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to make treatment and recycling of waste water mandatory and proposed strict penalty and even discontinuation of drinking water supply for any violations.
As per directions of the state government, the PMC has proposed changes in Development Control rules to make waste water treatment and recycling mandatory. The proposal has been tabled before the civic body’s City Improvement Committee. The new rules would come into force after getting public suggestions and objections, civic officials said.
The regulations would be applicable to all kinds of developments, redevelopments, part-developments on plots having an area of 4,000 square metre (one acre) or more as well as those having built-up area of 2,000 sqm or above or if consumption of water is 20,000 literes per day or more or if a multi-storied building has 50 tenements or more.
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Waste water includes used water from toilets and urinals, gray water from bathrooms, sinks and washing areas, and waste from industrial, medical and commercial usage. “Any owner, developer, organisation or society violating the provisions of the bye-laws shall be fined Rs 2,500 on the day of detection… If the violation continues, they shall be fined Rs 100 per day after written notice from the competent authority,” the proposal says.
“If the results of laboratory test of the water released in sewage drains are not satisfactory, the owner, developer, organisation or the housing society shall be charged a penalty of Rs 300 per day till the necessary preventive action is taken… discontinuation of water would also be done,” it says.
A PMC official said that nowadays, there were hardly any building permissions being sought for the construction of less than 2,000 sqm in PMC limits, which would mean almost all new buildings would have to install a waste water treatment plant.
Any new applicant, along with his application for obtaining necessary layout approval or building permission, has to submit a plan showing location of waste water treatment plant, furnish details of calculations, references, implementation etc. The new proposal further says that the plan should be accompanied with the applicants’ commitment to monitor the system periodically from the date of occupation of the building.
The recycled water shall be used for gardening, car washing, toilet flushing, irrigation and in no case it should be used for drinking, bathing, washing utensils and clothes, the proposal says. It also says that a clause must be included by the owner or the developer in the purchase agreement that the purchaser, owner of the premises, organisation or the housing society shall ensure that recycled water is tested every six months either in municipal laboratory or the one approved by the municipal body or the state government. The result would be accessible to the competent authority of respective ward office.
In the category of education, industrial, commercial, government, semi-government organisations, hotels, lodging buildings, those having a built-up area of 1,500 sqm or more and if water consumption is 20,000 litres per day or more should make the provision for waste water treatment and recycling plant mandatory.
Hospitals having 40 or more beds also must provide a waste water treatment and recycling plant. The vehicle
servicing garage shall ensure the waste water generated through washing of vehicles is treated and recycled for the same.
As per existing PMC rules, any layouts or housing complexes designed to accommodate 80 tenements or more shall compulsorily have a sewage treatment plant to treat the effluents to the desired levels of purity and shall thereby provide for recycling of water consumed by the said complex.