Kolkata civic body to ask for water use estimate with the housing plan
30 Jun, 2021

Kolkata civic body to ask for water use estimate with the housing plan

It will be mandatory for the developers of big residential projects to provide an estimation of the water requirement — both during construction and possession to Kolkata Municipal Corporation to get sanctions.

The KMC board of administrators chairman Firhad Hakim said the civic body requires the data to estimate the water demand so that they can also plan the augmentation of their drinking water infrastructure to ensure demand-supply parity. The data will also assist the drainage department to plan its capacity augmentation.

“We will take an undertaking from the developers that they will assist us financially for a drainage development project meant for the users of their residential projects,” said a KMC sewerage and drainage department senior official.

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) President (Bengal chapter) Nandu Belani said the developers would comply with KMC norms.

KMC has been assessing the water demand of residents in existing residential complexes that currently fetch water from borewells and don’t have a piped water supply from the civic body.

The problem mainly observed along the EM Bypass, where several high-rises have come up in the past two decades and several more are either under construction or will be developed shortly. Even though the Jai Hind waterworks in Dhapa has commenced supplying water to some areas, the vast segments of the population and several multi-storey residential complexes don’t use the water supplied by KMC.

In a proactive move towards sustainable urban planning and resource management, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken a significant step by integrating water use estimates into the housing approval process. This initiative aims to address the escalating water crisis and ensure responsible consumption in the rapidly growing city of Kolkata.

Recognizing the pivotal role of water in the daily lives of residents and the environmental challenges posed by excessive consumption, the KMC is set to implement a comprehensive policy that requires individuals or entities submitting housing plans to include a detailed water use estimate. This estimate will encompass the projected water needs for the proposed structure, considering factors such as the number of occupants, water-dependent appliances, and landscaping requirements.

The decision to incorporate water use estimates into the housing plan approval process is rooted in the city’s commitment to sustainable development. Kolkata, like many urban centers globally, faces the dual challenges of population growth and climate change impacts on water availability. By integrating water use estimates, the KMC aims to foster a culture of responsible water consumption among its residents, thereby promoting long-term water security.

Applicants seeking approval for new construction or significant modifications to existing structures will be required to submit a detailed breakdown of their water requirements. This breakdown will include estimates for domestic use, irrigation needs, and any specialized water demands based on the nature of the building (e.g., commercial or industrial). The KMC will evaluate these estimates as part of the overall housing plan approval process.

The move is expected to have several positive outcomes. Firstly, it will enhance water use awareness among citizens, encouraging them to adopt water-efficient technologies and practices. Secondly, it will enable the KMC to gauge the cumulative water demand arising from new constructions, allowing for more accurate planning of water supply infrastructure. Thirdly, it aligns with the broader vision of creating a resilient and sustainable urban environment that can adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.

In conclusion, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s decision to incorporate water use estimates into the housing plan approval process represents a forward-thinking approach to urban development. By intertwining growth with responsible resource management, the KMC aims to set a precedent for other cities grappling with similar challenges. This initiative not only addresses the immediate concerns of water scarcity but also positions Kolkata as a leader in the broader movement towards sustainable, resilient, and environmentally conscious urban planning.