Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Helpdesk for rainwater harvest

Helpdesk for rainwater harvest

Residents can approach BWSSB offices for assistance after office hours

Odeal D'Souza and Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will set up a helpdesk that will start functioning in a week's time to address queries from the public on setting up rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems.
The Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) will form an expert committee to help BWSSB tackle the issue.
The helpdesk will comprise AR Shivakumar, principal investigator, RWH, KSCST and three engineers. "The helpdesk is the first of its kind and will help people to establish residents' welfare associations for setting up community-based RWH systems," said Shivakumar, adding that they will also help people regarding the expenses also, once they have a plan.
The helpdesk will mainly address all doubts relating RWH among citizens and they can seek answers on queries like how to implement RWH, what are the various ways of setting it up and the necessity to implement RWH among other things.
On Sunday, at the inauguration of an RWH awareness programme, chairman of BWSSB, PB Ramamurthy, said that the helpdesk will function for the next three years even as minister of BWSSB, Katta Subramanya Naidu said RWH will become compulsory from November 1, this year.
Apart from questions on RWH, the helpdesk will also attend to queries relating to groundwater recharge.
"However we will not visit anybody's residence individually. They will have to approach the helpdesk to seek assistance," Shivakumar added.
For the time being, the various divisional BWSSB offices in Bangalore will act as helplines for RWH. In fact, even when the helpdesk is set up, it will function only during the working hours.
After the office hours, the residents can approach the divisional BWSSB offices for help.
"The RWH cost will vary, depending on the size of the house. If the house owners fail to comply, then BWSSB, which is the monitoring body, will fix the problems. The BWSSB already has 300 registered plumbers," said the officials.
Shivakumar further added, "The KSCST has already begun training local plumbers in RWH at the Indian Institute of Science."
Over 1,000 plumbers and interested activists will be trained and they will in turn help the public in setting up rain water harvesting units and ensure minimum wastage of water.
BWSSB officials have directed all six executive engineers in the various zones to identify plumbers, engineers, resident welfare association heads and interested citizens who are keen on participating in the special programme and disseminating the information to others.

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