Tamil Nadu administration has directed all the government, commercial, educational and residential complexes to set up state-approved rainwater harvesting (RWH) structures on their building premises within three months due to the ongoing water crisis and declining ground water levels. The government warned that building owners failing to adhere to the order will be liable for legal action.
Speaking at a review meeting at the Greater Chennai Corporation, the Minister for Rural Development and Municipal Administration, SP Velumani said that all the buildings including Chennai Corporation, commercial complexes, industries, educational institutions, and residential complexes should set-up rain-water harvesting structure on their premises area within three months. The Rural Development and Municipal Administration has organized a committee for this program; the local bodies will issue notices the owners of these buildings within a week.
According to the minister, 14 corporations (including Chennai), 122 municipalities, 528 Town Panchayaths, and 12,524 Village Panchayaths were surveyed in the state. The government had found that close to 5 lakh buildings in the state do not have rainwater harvesting systems.
In Chennai, 2.35 lakh buildings were surveyed for compliance to the 2003 order and also to verify whether the RWH structure has been built in accordance to the norms prescribed by the corporation. Of these, 1.36 lakh buildings were found to have installed the harvesting systems alongside 3,850 new buildings.
Rainwater harvesting structures had already been installed in 37,131 buildings in the city which need maintenance. However, residents of 60, 461 buildings in Chennai Corporation have not installed harvesting systems on their premises. They have been instructed by corporation officials to install them before October.
The minister added that in 528 town Panchayaths, 14,000 government buildings, 2,412 lakh residential complexes and 2.34 Industrial and commercial complexes the rainwater harvesting structure will be set up. Velumani said that people are aware of rainwater harvesting. The administration had already started this process and it is fast-tracking it. The administration is inviting everyone to contribute to this initiative so there won’t be a water scarcity in future.
Jayaram Venkatesan of Arappor Iyakkam, a civil-rights NGO, says the government should raise awareness about this initiative. He said that the government should set up call centers where people can clear their doubts; they should create all these logistics and Infrastructure without which this cannot happen within three months.
He added that a building completion certificate is provided by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) only if it has a rainwater harvesting structure. Venkatesan said that in an existing building, the residents can set up an RWH structure by having just a pipeline from the roof-top and connecting it to the recharge pit. A rainwater filter should be attached to the pipeline which will eradicate the dust particles. Given the amount of water-scarcity Tamil Nadu has faced, it’s the responsibility of every citizen to install RWH on their premises.
Source: Indian Express
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