IdeaMine – Self Sufficient Co-operative Housing Societies

Like in any other Indian city, Mumbai follows the co-operative housing society model for most residential needs of the middle-class families. The focus of today’s idea is a system that reduces the eco-footprint of this unit of Indian living.

Let’s begin with electiricity. Although corridor and compound lighting does not consume too much electricity and may contribute only to a small percentile of the society’s consumption, it does make sense in installing solar panels and LED or CFL bulbs in their place to reduce their long term costs. It might also be worth checking out a model of a windmill on top of all those cell phone towers that we see springing on top of every new building today.

Going up to water. The BMC recently announced on a system of water meter based taxing. Reducing the amount of water used by each housing society may thus come into focus. In a society, water is generally used for cleaning vehicles, compounds, staircases and for water gardens. For the water for this purpose, our eyes should go to the septic tanks for the waste water from the bathrooms, toilets and kitchen and wash basins. The water needs to be seperated out of the solid waste and delivered to a seperate tank. After treating this water appropriately, it might be used for all the above purposes. This may also be used to water balcony gardens.

The systems needs to be divised in such a way that one person can manage most of the systems. Besides conserving water and electricity consumption of a housing society, it also provides an employment oppertunity for a person and perhaps shelter for a family.

Commercial farming should be studied and implemented in housing societies, if possible.  This will probably be the income source which can be used to pay person’s salary and be partly used for maintainence and repair cost of the system.

Implementing this system should work on reducing the energy and water cost per housing society.Multiply this with the number of housing societies in Mumbai and it might probably eliminate the need for new power and water projects for Mumbai. In the long run, hopefully, the beneficiary will be the citizen of Mumbai.

Institutes that may research these systems:

  • engineering colleges: windmill + cell tower system, solar cell technologies, water filtration processes
  • management colleges – business models, project implementation, advertising and packaging
  • agricultural colleges – study of possibility of commercial farming in Mumbai

(This is an idea shared under the Creative Commons License, like all content on this blog)

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