Posted: August 17, 2017 Filed under: Co-operative Societies, GST
Government of India is pushing for Implementation of GST on the 1″ of July 2017. In the latest GST Council .meeting held on the 3rd of June 2017, all the States have also agreed to the implementation date as it of July 2017.
Since GST deals with all sorts of goods and . services, manufacture, import, export, trade, etc. while addressing the requirements of the specific sector of Housing Societies , many practical issues arise and are not addressed properly.
This article is an attempt to understand these constraints.
1. Registration : Every Society with an aggregate turnover of over Rs 20 lakhs is required to be registered under GST. The aggregate turnover includes all maintenance charges (Other- than Municipal Tax), any miscellaneous income, and includes Bank interests.
Further, every society engaging an advocate or an advocate firm, needs, to register. under GST , even if the aggregate turnover, is less than Rs 20 lakhs, since Advocate Services is categorized under Reverse Charge.
While a simple window of “Composite Levy” is available for Manufacturing/ Trading Sectors, the same is not available to Housing Society Sector.
2. Exemption: Payment of Municipal Tax may be considered as Payment on behalf of Member as an Agent, and maybe treated as outside the purview of GST and hence not taxable.
Water charges, may be treated as Supply of Goods, and hence attracts GST at “zero %” as per the GST Rate table.
Members in a GST Registered Society are exempted and will not be charged GST, if the maintenance charges on “Charges”/ Contributions” are less than Rs 5000 per month. Here, only ‘Charges for “Sourcing’ of goods or services from third party, for the common use” are to be considered. Thus, while ‘water charges, electricity charges, service charges, repair fund / maintenance charges, insurance premium, etc, are included while calculating the amount of Rs 5000/-, vehicle parking charges, non _occupancy charges, share transfer premium, hall booking charges and similar other charges are not included.
The challenge for a housing society is to identify the members for application of GST and also identification of billing heads for considering the limit of Rs 5000/-.
Also it is not clear whether for a member who is not in the exemption category, GST is to be charged on the amount exceeding this limit or for the entire amount. Going by Service Tax provisions, from which the exemption criteria is picked, GST is to be applied on the entire amount and not on the amount exceeding Rs 5000/-.
3. Invoicing : GST provisions require that Taxable and Exempt amounts must not be included in the same invoice. For Taxable amounts, tax invoice has to be issued, and for exempt amounts, bill of supply has to be issued.
4. Arrears : Even if a member has not made the payment, the GST charged to the member must be paid. Interest on arrears also attracts GST. Even this has to be paid once interest bill is raised on the member. Arrears problem itself is a challenge to Housing Societies.
5. Advances : GST has to be paid on the Advance Maintenance Charges Received; and adjusted against the invoice. when raised later. To distinguish the Advance against Taxable and Non taxable amount, and to calculate the GST on the same, keep a track of the same month after month is again a challenge.
6. Reverse Charge: On certain services, in particular for Services by an Advocate, GST will not be charged by the Supplier, But the GST has to be calculated and paid to the Govt. by the Society. Similarly, if the Society is procuring Services from any Unregistered Vendor, [ which is very common for Housing Societies], GST has to be calculated and paid by the Society. The GST rate may change from Vendor to Vendor depending on the kind of Supply [ service or Goods] , and its category. Again , since the invoice does not reveal the GST rate, it is again a challenge to know the GST rate for each category and pay.
7. Input Tax Credit : The Societies are allowed to avail Input Credits on GST paid by them to the various Vendors or through Reverse Charge. [ In case of Reverse Charge, the credit is available only in the month next in which GST is-paid: ] . Again, if the Vendor has not made the payment of the GST before the due date, the ITC availed by the Society will be reversed by the GSTN
Input Tax on Capital Goods [Fixed Assets] is adjustable over a period of five years. To keep a track of this is a challenge.
If the Society has all its members under the exempt category, then the entire ITC, that are
attributable to exempt services will not be available. If the Society does not have any member under the exempt category, all the input Tax is available is ITC. However, where there is a mix of these two kinds,-the situation becomes challenging. Only proportionate Input Tax is available. for ITC. This proportion is required to be calculated every month and applied accordingly
8.Accounting: Most of the Accountants book expenditure directly without creating any vendor. Under GST, every Invoice has to be booked first, and then payment made against this invoice is required to be accounted: The Voucher posting work of the Accountant increases almost three fold.
9 Rectification of the Accounting Entries: Since all the rectifications in accounting entries.made are ‘required to be reported in subsequent Reports, of GST, one has to keep a track of the rectifications done.
10. GSTN : All GST related issues [Reports and Payments] are handled through an online application GSTN. For making payments, one has to download a challan and make the payment online or through any authroised Bank. Many Societies do not even have Computers and transactions online itself becomes a Challenge.
11 Reports : This becomes the most challenging part. Most of the Societies do not have any full time Accountant. But the requirement of Reports is very much time bound. GSTR -1 is required to he filed on or before 10th of each month. GSTR-2 is required to be filed on or before 15th of each month, Between 15th and 17th of each month, one has to tally the GSTR- 1 of the input Supplier with our GSTR-2 , and ensure that the two match each other By 20th one has to pay the Tax, and Submit the Tax return in GSTR- 3.
In addition, there will be GSTR- 9 , an Annual Return and GSTR – 9B [ GSTR Audit Report, if the aggregate turnover, exceeds Rs 1 Cr ] to be filed on .or before 31st of December. This will reconcile the GST-payments vis-a-vis the audited statement of accounts, of the Society.
The compliance requirement of GST is very high. For very big societies, the cost increase is shared by a larger number of members. But for smaller societies, the cost increase becomes a very high burden on,the members. But this should not be a reason for not complying with the GST requirements. Since the invoices raised by Registered Suppliers on Unregistered persons are all uploaded in the GSTN, the chances of getting detected, if not Registered, is very high. While interest and penalty will be charged on the detected evaded tax, input Tax credit, including the One on Reverse Tax basis, which May be a very huge, will not be available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Mohanraj Yenagudde is a the Director of a Leading Company providing Billing / Accounts / Management / Consultancy and _Compliance Services under the name Society123 Support Services Pvt Ltd (Formerly Pangal Computer Services Pvt Ltd) to Housing Societies. for the last thirty years. Ph:- 9820090808 email : Mohanraj@society123.com
Courtesy : MSWA’s Housing Societies Review – August 2017
Posted: August 17, 2017 Filed under: GST
Meaning of RCM under GST: As per 2 (98) “Reverse charge” means the liability to pay tax by the recipient of supply of goods or services or both instead of the supplier of such goods or services or both under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 9, or under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 5 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
Applicability and Registration for Taxpayers who Pay Reverse Charge : All persons who are required to pay tax under reverse charge have to register for GST irrespective of the threshold Threshold:- turnover in a financial year exceeds Rs 20lakhs (Rs 10 lakhs for North eastern states).
Situations under where reverse charge applied:
1. Unregistered dealer selling to a registered dealer (In such cases, the registered dealer is required to pay GST on RCM basis for such supply.)
2. Services through an e-commerce operator
3. CBEC has notified a list of 12 services on which GST paid by the recipient on 100% reverse charge basis: the Services are
(a) Non-resident service provide.
(b) Goods Transport Agencies
(c) Legal service by an Advocate/ Firm of Advocates
(d) Arbitral Tribunal
(e) Sponsorship Services
(f) Specified Services provided by Govt. or Local Authority to Business entity
(g) Services of a director to a company
(h) Insurance agent
(i) Recovery Agent of Bank/ FI / NBFC
(j) Transportation Services on Import
(k) Permitting use of Copyright
(l) Radio Taxi services to E-commerce aggregator (eg: Ola, Uber, etc.)
Time of Supply for Goods Under Reverse Charge: In case of reverse charge, the time of supply shall be the earliest of the following dates-:
(a) The date of receipt of goods or
(b) The date of payment or
(c) The date immediately after 30 days from the date of issue of invoice by the supplier (60 days for services)
If it is not possible to determine the time of supply under (a), (b) or (c), the time of supply will be the date of entry in the books of account of the recipient Eg:
• Date of receipt of goods 2nd July 2017
• Date of payment 7th July 2017
• Date of invoice 1stAugust 2017
• Date of entry in books of receiver 18th July 2017
• Time of supply of goods 2nd July 2017
Invoicing rules: Every service recipient, who is paying tax on the basis of reverse charge, has to mention fact in his GST invoice that is being issued. A registered person who is liable to pay tax under reverse charge ,respect of goods or services received by him from the supplier who is not registered.
Input Tax Credit under RCM:
(a) The service recipient can avail Input Tax credit on the Tax amount that fs paid under reverse charge on goods and services.
(b) The condition is that the goods and services are used or will be used for business.
(c) ITC in RCM cannot be used to pay output tax, it means payment mode only in cash.
Composition Scheme under GST : Taxpayers with the aggregate turnover of Rs. 75 lakhs ( for special category states turnover upto Rs.50 Lakhs) in a financial year are eligible to pay tax under composition scheme. But, taxpayers paying tax on the basis of reverse charge under GST are not eligible for composition scheme.
GST Compensation Cess : GST Compensation Cess will also be applicable on reverse charge. GST Compensation Cess will be levied and collected at a rate which will be notified later. This will apply , in on all supplies of goods and services, including imports and reverse charge supplies.
CA VISHAL GALA Mob – 981951 3758
MSWA’s Housing Societies Review – August 2017
Posted: August 15, 2017 Filed under: Co-operative Societies, GST
Dear Office Bearers of the Society, are you done with your society audit? Has the ever-busy auditor finally found time for you? Are the books already presented before the AGM? Have you done with nit-picking by every smart member who wants to check why these 25 Rs. are spent extra or why is there an Interest Rate difference of 0.02%? Do not rest yet… a new animal is just unleashed upon you, Goods and Service Tax, i.e. GST…! Lot has been said/published and generally disseminated as to how GST functions. We all know that GST facilitates better ‘Input Credit’ and as such, overall tax liability is less. Further, GST is of course, not a One Tax but a group of taxes which work on similar line. The Head of the Family is Central Goods & Service Tax Act (CGST) and we’ll refer it henceforth for the simplicity. So, the very first thing to note is CGST is applicable on all the Persons u/s 2(84) and sub clause (i)
specifically includes Co-operative Societies of all types. But wait, it’s not enough to be ‘Person’, but Section 9 says that every ‘Taxable Person’ has to collect and pay GST. So the question is, is your society a Taxable Person? And the definition of Taxable person u/s 2(107) says that if you are required to take Registration, either u/s 22 or 24 then you are taxable person (Isn’t Law a Treasure Hunt of the Sections? Welcome to maze…!) This brings us to an important question. Who should take Registration u/s 22? Though there are several thing about this section, let’s stick to those relevant to the Housing Cooperative. Section 22 spells out that you are required to take the Registration, if the aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds twenty lakh rupees. What should be taken as Turnover? Now those charges for which services are not provided by the Society, such as Water charges or other such public utilities and property tax, are not part of turnover. Hence, it is better for the society to issue a separate reimbursement bill for these services, charging each member at proportionate actuals. However, the maintenance charges and the charges for all other facilities which the society levies on its members are very much part of the society’s turnover and this is even reinforced by the definition of business u/s 2(17)(e) that it includes provision by a club, association, society, or any such body (for subscription or any other consideration) of the facilities or benefits to its members. Thus, are the aggregate charges received by your society more than 20 Lakhs? Welcome to GST…
Now that if you have to take registration, next question is what is the rate of tax? Under the heading 9995 — Services of Membership Organization, it is 18%, approximately 2.5% more than what you were earlier required to pay under Service Tax.
But there is good news as well.
Your society buys several products and utilises several services in course of ensuring welfare of its members. In that process, it used to pay different types of Sales Taxes and Excise etc., though only some of the Sales Taxes were visible on the bill. Now, your society shall pay GST to suppliers of goods as well as services and only the balance amount to Government. This will reduce over all tax liability for many societies, especially the bigger ones.
But wait, what happened to that other section for registration, section 24? To understand it, we first have to follow something called ‘Reverse Charge Mechanism’ – RCM. Now when Society collects Maintenance Charges from the Members, it collects GST on it and pays to Government. When it buys Goods or Service from Registered Dealer, it pays the GST to supplier. BUT, when it buys them from Unregistered Dealer, under RCM, it will have to pay the GST on those goods/services out of its own pocket to government and can, of course, claim credit of it. Thus, this is not necessarily a big burden on society. The sting is in the second part of RCM. There are certain Services, for which, it is the responsibility of buyer to apply RCM, collect GST and pay it to the government, e.g. Legal Services for Business Entity. Now, section 24 says that you have to take registration if RCM is applicable to you and the turnover limit is not required to be fulfilled! Thus, even a small society with lower turnover, availing these services, shall he required to register.
There is an important reprieve, maintenance charges are less than Rs. 5,000 per member per month, then the GST rate applicable is 0%. In short, you have to take registration but not charge the GST. But whether GST liability is there or not, Now once registered, the clumsy and time-consuming Statement updating is mandatory. Thus, every registered society shall be required to upload three statements a month and one annual statement.
There is one more serious issue, which is a problem for Housing Societies. U/s 12 of the Act, GST would be charged on the date of issue: of invoice by the supplier or the last date on which he is required. Thus, even where the member defaults on payment of the charges, liability to pay GST would arise immediately in the next month. This will be financially burdensome for co-operative housing societies, which have working capital troubles. This may even increase the friction in the society, since timely collection of dues would become a crucial matter.
RCM, Time of Supply and cumbersome return filing are grave issues and they are hitting every single organization, especially of smaller size, in a big way. It is expected that the Government, in its infinite wisdom, shall soon take cognizance of it and rectify some of the anomalous provisions. Meanwhile, it is important for all those covered under this Act, to register themselves as soon as possible for GST. Ultimately, this is a new regime, introduced somewhat hurriedly and unprepared, by the government, intent to go for an important Tax Reform. The baby is delivered under C-Section surgery and we all shall have to bear the pains of its birth for a while to come. Over a period, this New Baby of Emerging India shall find its feet and strengthen us all, is definitely a Hope…!
CA Ajit Joshi, Author, is a practicing Chartered Accountant, also teaching at PTVA’s IM as Assistant Professor. He can he reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9869424479.
THE HOUSING TIMES – July-2017
Posted: August 11, 2017 Filed under: Banking, Credit Cards
Woman duped of Rs 29,000, vishing fraudsters had basic card info
Three people, with basic information about a 38-year-old woman’s credit card, cheated her of Rs 29,000 recently employing a new form of vishing. The woman, an architectural consultant, registered an FIR with Vile Parle police.
Around 11.30am on August 5, the consultant received a call from one Neha, claiming she worked with ICICI’s credit cards division and was aware the consultant’s credit card was to expire later this month.She also knew the new card had been couriered. “I believed Neha to be a genuine employee. She told me reward points worth Rs 9,000 had accumulated on my existing card and would expire unless transferred to my account as an excess credit balance. When I consented, the call was transferred to one Roshan Sharma, who posed as an employee of Payback, a customer loyalty rewards programme,” the consultant said.
Payback has tie-ups with a few banks, its reward points can be used for shopping. Under the pretext of verification, the accused got the consultant to part with all her card details.The line was transferred between Neha, Roshan and a third associate. “Neha told me money would be credited in two or three instalments,” the consultant said. When Rs 14,365 was debited, she asked Neha what was wrong.
“Neha said there was a problem with completing the point transfer. She said Rs 14,365 would be reversed to my account only if I gave details of another Payback-linked card. I gave details from my Bank of India debit card. Another Rs 14,415 was debited. I shouted at them, but they assured me the sum would be reversed into my account,” she said. Roshan gave her the genuine address of Payback’s Mumbai office.
“When they asked for details of a third card, I decided I had enough. I warned them I was going to the police. But they said cops couldn’t touch them,” she said, adding she was on phone with them for 90 minutes. “The money went to an IDEA digital wallet and must have been spent by the accused. Had it gone to a bank account, we could have easily traced them,” a cop said.
Posted: August 10, 2017 Filed under: Co-operative Societies, Consumer Law and Cases, Housing, RERA
By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD
RERA – The Real Estate Regulatory and Development Act 2016 came into force on the 1st of May 2017. With the aim to regulate the sector and bring clarity in the real estate market and the act is a key reform measure in the vast real estate sector. The Act mainly enacted to protect real estate buyers and enhance transparency.
The first question before you plan a complaint with RERA authorities in India is weather it is registered with the state authorities or not. The question is which are the projects needs to qualify for registration.
- In accordance with the Section 3(1) the RERA Act aims at demanding the promoters to register each of their real estate projects be it commercial or residential with the RERA authority and thus barring the developers from advertising or offering for sale or inviting any such proposal for sale of any project before such registration. With an exception that such builder shouldn’t have received the completion certificate of the project so advertised. If you think and have proof that your builder have advertised in Print, Digital, Social Media, Hoardings, out door media, calls, messages, email or any thing which you can prove on paper.
Mind you, if the project is falling between Commencement Certificate and Occupation Certificate (OC) by whatever name called on 1st May 2017 then the project must be registered with State RERA concerned. By no means, the date was extended and it is statutory obligation of the builder to register the project.
- Section4 (2)(c-f) has provisions for the promoters to provide all necessary and important information relating to the project- sanctioned plan, allotment letter, and the appropriate specifications of the proposed project along with the authenticated approvals and the commencement certificate thus imparting important information of the project to the consumers. Make sure you see that Plan he has uploaded matches with the plan you got in your agreement for sale. If there are deviations then you qualify for complain. Also, builder has to take NOC from 2/3rd buyers at whatever stage the project is.
- With respect to the consumers interest the builder as mentioned in Section4 also has to provide the carpet area for each unit, the verandah or balconies if any, the garages or parking as to be provided to the consumers promoting transparency for the consumers and to gain access to all necessary information before investing their capital in the project. The carpet area must be as per the definition of RERA Act. It says inner surface of the wall to inner surface of the wall and space below internal wall. It varies from state to state as to the definition includes inner column. The Architect certificate uploaded must be seen.
- The provisions as mentioned in Section11 (4) holds the promoter responsible for the obligations, and all the promises made to the allottees and thus assuring the consumers against unfair trade practices of the builders. Keep all the statement made by the builder to you either in written, expression and oral.
- The Act in section 11 provides for the builders being responsible for the repair work of all the structural defects or any such defect that may arise in a period of 5 years from the date of conveyance of all flats in the particular project. Many developers have put conditions in agreement for sale that if without written permission you are not allowed to do any repair. Also a usual wear and tear conditions are imposed. But nothing will stand against this provisions. Builder has to obey the section and give repair to default in workmanship and for every successive occupant within five years.
- Section 14(2)(i) of the Act prohibits the developers from making any alterations or modifications in the approved plans , fixtures, fittings or amenities of a proposed project without the mutual consent of the allottees, so as to safeguard the interest of the consumers unfamiliar to such alteration. It requires 2/3rd member NOC to do so.
- The aim of the act is to ensure that the allottees are provided with their respective units according to the stipulated time as provided by the developer at the time of the registration, failure of which penalizes the promoter under Section 18 to compensate such allottee for the delay in possession of such property. Almost every developer took the liberty to raise possession date by four to five years. But if ou have entered into agreement and the date is given then you can always go to court for recourse irrespective of date filled by builder at the time of Registration.
- Section 19 (4) entitles the consumer to claim refund of the amount of the property along with the interest from the promoter, if the promoter fails to comply or is unable to give possession of the apartment, plot or building, as the case may be, in accordance with the terms of agreement for sale or due to discontinuance of his business as a developer on account of suspension or revocation of his registration under the provisions of this Act, thus securing the capital funds of the allottees who invested in the project.
- The Act provides for establishment of an authority to be known as Real Estate Regulatory Authority under Section 20 for the effective functioning of the provisions of the act and also securing the interests of the buyers against the ill fitted plans and intentions of the project builders. The authority is having cosi judicial powers to make any arrangement to complete the project and charge penalties.
- The provisions in S.29 empowers the aggrieved allottees to file a complaint against a developer to the authority, thus enabling the authority to deal with such a subject of protection of a consumer expeditiously and ensuring the disposal of such complaints within sixty days from the date of filing of the complaint with the appropriate authority. In Maharashtra, its online with a fees of Rs5000/- and in other states, the fees varies and sometime off line.
- The Authority under the act has been vested with the functions of promoting consumer protection under Section 43 which enables the appropriate Government for the formation of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal for the quick redressal of grievances of the consumers, which also provides of the disposal of cases within sixty days of such filing.
- Section 59 & Section 60 of the Act provides for the penalty of the developers for contravening the provisions of the act, thus keeping in mind to create a consumer friendly real estate sector.
- Section 59- Penalizes the promoter to pay up to 10% of the project cost for non-registration their project with the RERA Authority.
- Section 60 – proscribes that the developer pays 5% for violating the provisions of the act and providing false information to the consumers.
In fact, the preamble of RERA says that the Act is enacted to established RERA Authority in every state and to enhance transparency in real estate transactions and development process.
Posted: August 3, 2017 Filed under: UID-Aadhaar
It is now possible to digitally lock one’s Aadhaar number to prevent its possible misuse by a third party. UIDAI has provided a mechanism for the purpose. It is first necessary to link a designated mobile number for each Aadhaar number to avail of this service.
The following is the procedure to lock/unlock the Aadhaar number:
1. Visit https://resident. uidai.gov.in/biometric-lock
2. Enter your Aadhaar number.
3. Enter the system-generated security code/captcha
4. Receive the OTP in the Aadhaar-registered mobile number.
5. Lock your Aadhaar with a unique password.
Once the number is locked, its use gets restricted and no one else will be able to authenticate it on any biometric device without unlocking it. UIDAI has advised everyone to avail of the service from a security point of view as Aadhaar is linked to bank accounts PAN cards and is fast becoming mandatory for various other purposes.
You can also do this by using the mAadhaar app on your cellphone and enable / disable biometrics with ease. Click Here for details on the mAadhaar app
Posted: August 1, 2017 Filed under: Green Technology
Green Heroes: 86-year-old from Mumbai helps society save 40% on water and power bills
The seven-storey Sea Line housing society at Union Park in Khar (West) is equipped with solar power and a windmill for its electricity requirements, a rainwater harvesting facility that saves 2 lakh litres of water every year and an organic waste recycling technique, which reduces the burden on overflowing landfills in the city.
A decade-long struggle by 86-year-old Navin Chandra has paved way for homegrown answers to waste management, water and power problems through long-lasting, cost-effective and environment-friendly solutions.
The seven-storey Sea Line housing society at Union Park in Khar (West) is equipped with solar power and a windmill for its electricity requirements, a rainwater harvesting facility that saves 2 lakh litres of water every year and an organic waste recycling technique, which reduces the burden on overflowing landfills in the city. The society introduced these green measures in 2005-06 and recovered the costs by 2012.
“The idea was to make the best use of natural resources and safeguard city’s environment,” said Chandra. “When I moved to the apartment in 2000, the whole complex was in a mess, almost an environmental disaster. It took years to convince everyone. But once they reaped the benefits, there was no looking back.”
The couple’s efforts were recognised last month after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis awarded the duo as the ‘best small society’ and ‘clean crusader’ award, one among 7,000 buildings in Mumbai, at an award function organised by a private bank.
With 10 flats, the building has a rooftop solar system consisting of fifty panels and a windmill that powers electricity requirements for all common areas of the building, including an office with six computers. Additionally, a solar water heating system supplies hot water to 40 bathrooms in the building at an average temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.
The renewable energy helps save 60% of the society’s monthly electricity bill. “Prior to the installation of the wind and solar setup, we were spending Rs 18,000 per month, now our monthly bill is not more than Rs 7,000,” said Chandra. “As per our assessment, the renewable energy model has helped us avoid the emission of over 3000kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.”
The complex does not depend upon the civic body for its non-potable water consumption at all. The quarter-of-an-acre rooftop and common areas, act as catchment for rainwater. The water collected is channeled to a borewell with a capacity of 10,000 litres and excess water is used to recharge groundwater.
“In a crisis situation, where we are unable to procure drinking water for the society, we have made alternate arrangements where the stored rainwater is purified with the help of two machines. The cleansed water is directly transported to our drinking water tanks,” said Chandra.
Meanwhile, the society’s complete wet waste is segregated at source, collected from a door-to-door method and recycled into manure at a 3X3 feet vermicomposting pit. Every month, 100kg organic waste is converted into 10kg compost through the use of worms to degenerate the waste.
“In a city where air pollution is a prime concern, treating your own waste not only helps reduce the quantum at dumping grounds but also saves the tax payers’ money by reducing transportation cost of sending daily garbage,” said Chandra.
While the cost of setting up the solar, wind systems was Rs13 lakh, the society spent Rs7 lakh in installing the rainwater harvesting facility and about a lakh for the vermiculture pit. All expenditures were recovered by 2012 and the reduced utility expenses of the society by 40%.
Soon, wastewater recycling initiative at Union Park
Navin Chandra, 86, has developed a blue print to recycle wastewater from an apartment complex for one of the largest public parks at Union Park, Khar (West), which is currently being considered by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
Wastewater from an eight-storey apartment will be channelled to the park where the park’s bed will be dug up and natural filtration systems such as rocks, stones and red soil will be used to treat the water. An outlet on another end will provide the treated water which can be used for plants and trees.
“After the successful implementation of Chandra’s projects over the last 10 years, several neighbouring apartment complexes got the confidence to follow at least one of the three initiatives. His efforts are an inspiration for residents across all apartments at Union Park as he is consciously working towards reducing a large portion of the city’s carbon footprint,” said Bharati Kakkad, secretary, Union Park Residents Association.
“The municipal corporation and citizens should take note of Chandra’s efforts and push for a decentralised system not only for treating waste but power generation and water supply. In turn, the civic body should respond by providing tax rebates for all those houses that are becoming self-sufficient and safeguarding environment through their efforts,” said V Ranganathan, former municipal commissioner of the BMC.