Following the crackdown on small and big real estate developers who were found using drinking water, including natural water, for construction purposes, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) water supply department has seen a rise in demand on its mobile app “PMC STP Water Tanker System” for developers. The app has reported a 20 per cent increase in request for treated sewage water which amounts to five lakh litres of water per day since June 8.
According to Annirudha Pawaskar, chief engineer incharge, PMC water supply department, the earlier request of 3 to 4 water tankers has now risen to 40-50. “Violators are checked by the building permission department,” he said.
According to the civic officials, initially, only 118 developers had registered on the app reflecting lukewarm response. With reports of drinking water being used for construction purposes in the city and merged villagers, PMC issued 127 notices to violators since June 8.
Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar has instructed use of sewage treatment plant (STP) water for golf courses, playgrounds and public facilities. The notice warning of closure of construction activity with immediate effect led to halt of usage of drinking water from wells and natural bodies by builders.
The notice states “with reports of usage of drinking water for construction, you are hereby cautioned that any further violation will lead to closure of construction work and final decision would be taken by the PMC administration in this regard”.
Pawaskar said that PMC had made it mandatory to use treated sewage water from plants for construction activities. “Various anomalies were found after which show-cause notices were issued to builders and action taken on ground. Hence, developers have increased their demand with the civic body for water through the mobile app, available on Android phones.”
Besides golf courses and open grounds, the civic chief has issued an advisory of using only treated water for watering plants along road dividers and public gardens. PMC has 11 STPs from which treated water was released into rivers. The civic body commissioned a study and found that this water was of good quality for construction purposes. It developed a mobile app and carried out awareness about its importance amongst citizens, especially developers.
At a meeting with executive engineers and deputy engineers on June 10, additional commissioner Ravindra Binawade informed them about violations related to drinking water usage. He ordered them to issue stop work notices to real estate developers found violating the PMC norms.
“The restrictions were not limited to the summer season but is a part of the year-long planning of the civic body. We are taking steps to increase usage of treated water by at least 20 lakh litres per day for the city,” he said.