Thursday, November 19, 2009

City ready to harvest rainwater

City ready to harvest rainwater

Staff Reporter
BWSSB helpdesk will have data on plumbers, technicians


Bangalore: To enable Bangaloreans implement the new rule of rainwater harvesting (RWH) in their buildings, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has set up an exclusive helpdesk. People can call 23341652; 23348848 or 23348849 to clear their doubts.

The helpdesk, located on the premises of the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) campus, was launched on Wednesday by BWSSB Chairman P.B. Ramamurthy.

Addressing presspersons after the launch, Mr. Ramamurthy said engineers manning the helpdesk will assist callers with information on the authorised plumbers, architects and technicians in their areas to install rainwater harvesting (RWH) system in their building.

Community programme
“We are training registered plumbers, architects and technicians on installing RWH units and are also posting their contact details on our official website. People can either get their details online or contact the helpdesk. We want people to accept this rule, which has been mandatory from November 1, as a community programme in their own interest,” Mr. Ramamurthy said.

“The engineers would make spot visits in case of requests from citizens. The idea is to help citizens in all possible ways to put up a system. We will start a mass awareness programme by holding competitions for children and publicising in the media to popularise the system,” he said.

“The IISc. campus is a temporary location for the helpdesk and it would be shifted to Jayanagar in a year, where a comprehensive theme park on RWH is coming up,” he said.

Punitive measures
All new buildings on sites measuring 30 x 40 and above will have to compulsorily adopt rainwater harvesting technique, or else the BWSSB will not sanction water and sanitary connections them.

The State Cabinet has approved amendments to the BWSSB Act to enable the board to take action if the rule was not followed.

The rule was mandatory for existing buildings on sites measuring 60 ft by 40 ft and above.

“If they don’t implement it within nine months, their connections will be cut,” Mr. Ramamurthy said.

Tenders for work on the Cauvery IV Stage 2nd Phase have been invited and work is expected to be completed by March 2011.

This would enable the Board to augment an additional 500 million litres of water daily (mld), Mr. Ramamurthy said.

A.R. Shivakumar, Principal Investigator for RWH at the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST), Indian Institute of Science, who is heading the Technical Committee that framed a policy document for RWH in the State, said the focus should be on rooftop harvesting at the moment.

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