New Delhi: The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court about the efforts made by it to encourage rainwater harvesting (RWH) in the national capital, including making it mandatory for property of 500 sq metres or more and increasing tariff in case of non-compliance.
DJB submitted the "incentives and disincentives" given by it to promote rainwater conservation in Delhi before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul which is hearing a plea seeking that RWH be made mandatory for buildings here.
The court, however, renotified the matter to September 24 after it was told by Delhi government that the National Green Tribunal is hearing a similar matter in which a report is to be submitted on September 10.
The report has to be submitted by a panel constituted on the tribunal`s orders to look into the issue of RWH, advocate Sana Ansari, appearing for Delhi government, told the court.
While the bench said it will also wait for the panel`s report, it observed that the committee comprises of members of the civic and municipal bodies who have not done anything till date and asked what will they do now.
"Their (civic and municipal bodies) people were already there. What have they done till now?" the bench said.
The court asked DJB, represented by advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, to file its note on efforts made by it to promote RWH along with an affidavit, before the next date of hearing.
The note was submitted pursuant to the court`s direction to inform it whether there is a policy for implementing RWH in Delhi.
As per the DJB note, provisions have been made in the Delhi Water and Sewer Tariff and Metering Regulations of 2012 for promoting RWH by giving rebate in tariff to those who implement RWH and waste water recycling systems/measures.
On the other hand, those who are required to implement it and do not do so, the tariff applicable on them is increased by 1.5 times, the civic agency has said in its note.
DJB has said in its note that in plots measuring 2000 square meters or more if RWH or waste water recycling systems are installed and are functional then 10 per cent rebate is given on the total bill amount.
If both systems have been installed and are functional then 15 per cent rebate is given, the agency said, adding that if above system(s) are adopted by a society, each member of that society will get that rebate.
The systems will be certified as functional by the area zonal engineer or such other suitable agency and the certificate will be issued every six months.
The agency has also said that as per its regulations RWH is mandatory and any consumer who fails to comply with the same within the stipulated time frame, the "applicable tariff will be increased by 1.5 times" till there is compliance.
"Any consumer having plot/property of 500 square metres or more shall make provision for RWH covering entire plot area, within one year, in case of commercial/industrial property, and within three years for residential property, from date of coming into force of the regulations under intimation to the area Zonal Revenue Officer," it has said.
DJB, in its note, has also stated that it has provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs 82 lakh "for 172 cases in the institutional category for providing RWH systems".
DJB also provides technical assistance to individuals who wish to install RWH systems, the note said.
On the last date of hearing, the court had observed there would be "water wars" soon given the rate water sources are depleting and had asked the city government whether it has any policy in place for implementing rain-water harvesting measures.
The court was hearing a PIL by advocate RK Kapoor who has also sought setting up of a nodal agency to coordinate with all the civic agencies and municipalities to create RWH projects "in all government buildings, hospitals, schools, colleges, flyovers and at all other possible places".
The petition contended that authorities should "make it compulsory for all cooperative and other housing and building societies to incorporate the clause of compulsory RWH in their projects and no project should be approved unless it specifically makes a provision for RWH".