Guwahati, Aug. 30: The new draft of building byelaws for Guwahati metropolitan area — Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Byelaws, 2013 — focuses on making the city more friendly towards renewable energy.
According to the byelaws, nursing homes, hospitals, hotels and lodges with 500 square metres in floor area, hostels exceeding 50 rooms and commercial complexes will be asked to go for ancillary solar-assisted water heating system.
In a recent meeting, senior officials of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) discussed issues on the power scenario and use of solar energy-based modern illuminating devices in the metropolitan area to make Guwahati a green city.
Sources said the meeting also decided to request Dispur to take the initiative to install 100kw solar panels in each block of the Assam secretariat, to make it mandatory for commercial complexes to install solar devices so that at least 20 per cent water heating in these buildings could be done by using solar energy.
This has come at a time Dispur directed all government and provincialised colleges across the state to install solar-powered equipment for consumption of power. A letter from the directorate of higher education to the college principals said colleges should procure a substantial amount of power from solar technology.
The ministry has also approved a Rs 1028.47 crore master plan submitted by the GMC to make Guwahati a solar city, with the aim of reducing at least 10 per cent projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years.
Consultant engineer J.N. Khataniar, who was also one of the members of the high-level expert committee that examined the draft building byelaws, said the provisions to make the city green were highly commendable.
The city is the main consumer of power in the state. The entire state is facing an energy crisis as it is in a position to generate only 25 per cent of the total power demand from its own sources. It is forced to buy the rest from the national grid at a high price.
The draft has introduced the process of issuing green building certification to buildings on criteria like preservation and protection of the landscape, reduced water usage, reduction of conventional energy demand, renewable energy utilisation, water recycle and rain water harvesting. The APDCL, GMDA and GMC will organise campaigns jointly on energy demand management in different areas including schools and colleges. Initiative will also be taken to generate public awareness to build green houses by the developers as well as individuals. They will also request departments concerned to include energy demand management into teachers’ training module.