The government is working towards achieving zero waste stage in residential habitats in urban and rural areas.

The Cabinet decision on Friday to provide subsidy to residential flats to set up waste treatment units is part of the strategy. However, waste treatment would become obligatory by law or guidelines in future.

People will be encouraged to set up biogas and vermin compost systems, and awareness programmes will be held as part of the effort. To raise confidence, such units are proposed to be set up at important establishments including government offices and officials residence of ministers.

Parallel to this will go efforts to encourage rain water harvesting and better regulatory framework governing buildings. The laws regulating rain harvesting in residential habits are already there. However, this is yet to be enforced. Initially, government is planning propagation of rain water harvesting techniques in a campaign mode.

Steps will be taken for simplifying the procedures for sanctioning building plans but with strict enforcement of rules. Town and country planning laws would be amended to ensure sustainable habitat development. The concept of need based housing based on maximum and minimum housing floor area per person may be introduced.

There would also be efforts to deal with poor housing conditions, proliferation of slums and dilapidated structures in cities. Steps will be taken to ensure environmental safeguards for housing and township projects. Norms prescribed by the State Pollution Control Board and CRZ notifications would be followed. The government will encourage setting up of eco-habitats and eco-villages using energy saving and environment friendly options and products.

The State Housing policy proposes establishment of a Housing Regulatory Authority to strengthen the regulatory frame work. This will necessitate enactment of new legislation which is expected to the finalised soon.