CHENNAI: More than 770 new buildings including residential complexes constructed in the past three years in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) have come under the scanner of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for solar photovoltaic panel violations.
While the Tamil Nadu Combined Development and Building Rules mandate these panels for constructions receiving completion certificate from the CMDA, several buildings have failed to install the devices. The planning authority has decided to inspect such structures and warned stern action against the violators.
The rules which came into effect in February, 2019 has made installation of solar energy system compulsory for all non highrise buildings (ground + four floors or stilt + five floors) and high rise buildings (above non-high rise category) and those exceeding 16 dwelling units and 300 sqm for commercial structures in the CMA.
A minimum of one-third of the terrace area must be reserved for erecting solar photovoltaic panels, wherein the space required for installing solar photovoltaic panels is about 10sqm to generate 1 KW of electricity. The CMDA has issued completion certificates for 771 buildings from February 2019 to the first week of September, 2021.
But, in reality solar photovoltaic panels do not exist on several buildings. According to CMDA sources, some panels have been hired for a week’s time to be erected on the terrace to satisfy the inspection team that reviews the building ahead of sanctioning the completion certificate.
“It is like manipulating rainwater harvesting structures as it is mandatory. In several cases, installing solar photovoltaic panels was an eyewash,” a CMDA official said. The planning authority has also received complaints over absence of solar panels in residential complexes, for which it had issued completion certificate.
CMDA member secretary Anshul Mishra told TOI that the idea is to sensitize people about the need for tapping solar energy.
“It may look unimportant for builders, but when we look at the larger picture, these panels help in saving the spending on conventional energy. Developers must adhere to the conditions in providing completion certificates in letter and spirit,” he said.