Monday, May 03, 2010

BWSSB goes easy on rainwater harvesting

BWSSB goes easy on rainwater harvesting

Water board to extend deadline for installing rainwater system for houses

Shwetha S. Bangalore

If you fail to meet the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) deadline for installing a rainwater harvesting system in your house, here's a small relief. The BWSSB is likely to extend thedeadline.
The water board, in August 2009, had amended the BWSSB Act to make way for a rainwater harvesting plan on all buildings with area of 40X60 and above by May 27, failing which water connections to these buildings willbe cut.
Many residents found the deadline unfair. DNA, in a sustained campaign, had highlighted the problems of residents because of the deadline. BWSSB offices have been flooded with emails from residents requesting an extension of the deadline by six months.
"Viewing the mails and reactions from the people we are likely to extend the deadline of implementing rainwater harvesting plan. We give a 90% assurance that we will not disconnect the water and sanitary connection for the people if they fail to implement the rainwater harvesting plan. In a few days the government might make a formal announcement about relaxing the deadline," a senior official from BWSSB said.
Several residents have also demanded that existing structures on the specified sites be exempted from the rule, which could be applied to buildings in the future.
The worst affected were senior citizens. "All our children are staying in different places across the country. At this age it's difficult for us to install rainwater harvesting system in our house. Please implement the rule for the newly-constructed houses, not for the existing one," said S Venkataraman, a 72-year-old retired government employee and resident of JP Nagar.
"But we cannot rule out the plan of implementing rainwater harvesting to all the houses. We accept it will be difficult for senior citizens. But only 10% of senior citizens stay on sites with area of 40X60 and above in the city," said BWSSB chief engineerT Venkatraju.
In Bangalore, about six lakh buildings have been identified for installation of rainwater harvesting systems, of which 11,000 buildings have already installed it.

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