Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rain water harvesting? Hmmm...err...

Rain water harvesting? Hmmm...err...
BWSSB set May 27 as deadline to set up RWH units, but even the mayor’s house does not have them

Nine months ago, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) set a May 27 deadline for private residences to make arrangements to rain water harvesting (RWH). The deadline is just around the corner, but the lack of will to execute the project has meant that even the mayor is yet to comply! What’s more, none of the home-owners in his lane have bothered either!
Mayor S K Nataraj lives on Sarakki 12th Cross. It is a narrow lane choc a bloc with residences, street dogs snoozing at the corners and overflowing garbage. The city’s ‘First Citizen’ lives in house number 144, which is a sprawling two-storey building on a site measuring 80X40 sq ft. Not difficult to spot due to a number of people milling around.
A huge overhead tank is visible. Possibly necessary, considering the number of people who throng his residence. We spoke to neighbours about the water situation in the area.
Roopa Ram, a garment shop-owner who lives across the street, says, “Just like the rest of the city, we get water every alternate day. We normally don’t face problems because all of us have overhead tanks.”
In case of emergencies, like the breach in Thippagondanhalli reservoir, residents depend on the borewell in a government school neaby to meet their requirements.
“Another option is the borewell in the mayor’s house. In a crisis, he allows us to take water,” says DySP (retd) R Narayanappa.
We then entered the mayor’s house, but Nataraj was not at home. His wife graciously welcomed us and chatted about the various problems in the city. “The biggest problem is water, for which there does not seem to be any solution!” she says.
Ask her about rain water harvesting, she says, “It just hasn’t happened.” When we asked her if other residents in the lane have taken the lead in getting rain harvesting units, the answer is negative.
We spotted a new multi-storey coming up nearby, but no sign of RWH in that building either.
Finally, we spoke to the mayor himself. Why hadn’t a single resident in his lane made arrangements for rain water harvesting even nine months after the BWSSB’s diktat?
Like a true politician, Nataraj is vague. “We were busy with election work. But, we will conduct an awareness programme for the residents. We will begin soon,” he says.
But, what about his own residence? “That also will be done soon,” is all he had to say.
How ‘soon’ will that be is anybody’s guess. But, we have learnt that the BWSSB has extended the deadline till July 27.


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