Rainwater Harvesting Soon to be a Reality in Karnataka

Environment has given us plenty of resources to cherish for. Standing in the 21st century, however, our environment is not in the same condition as it was before. Air, water and land pollution has affected nature in ways that can never heal. Depletion of natural resources is the scariest of all catastrophes so far. Scarcity of water in various parts of the country has alarmed authorities to take steadfast measures.

In an effort to save water, the Karnataka state government passed a bill in the recent monsoon session of the State Legislative Assembly. The bill mandates buildings measuring 60 X 40 sq.ft or more to install a dual-piping system and rainwater harvesting structure (RHW). This is the government’s second attempt at implementing its rainwater utilization plan. In 2009, the Karnataka Government had made it mandatory for all commercial and residential properties to install a RHW.

The mandate, however, didn’t amount to much. Lack of awareness, scarcity of space and no proper enforcement policy had stagnated its development. Until now, only 2 lakh of 25 lakh properties in Bangalore have installed the rainwater utilization system. However, 80% of these facilities still rely on underground water and Cauvery for all their daily needs. The recent bill is an attempt to reinforce the previous policy.

Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and BBMP has had a hard time ensuring compliance. As said by KN Ramakrishna, an RWH expert, “BWSSB and BBMP should adopt a carrot-and-stick policy to ensure compliance. They should incentivise the people who promptly install the dual piping system and penalise those who don’t.” Only efficient policy-making can address the present issue of non-compliance of the mandate.

Many experts hint that BWSSB should look upto other model cities like Delhi who are doing an exceptional work in the water crisis situation. The only way to fasten the RHW installation is to provide a cost-effective model sanctioned by the BWSSB. Scarcity of safe drinking water is a reality that all of us need to come to terms with. Rainwater, in such a scenario, will save us and our future generations from further like crisis.

Monica Matthias, director of Hoysala Projects said, BBMP and BWSSB’s collective effort can only bring about a radical change. Together they can ensure proper compliance and engage in the installation of RHW in public places or roads that are often water logged. Proper planning and implementation can certainly make the RWH policy a success. Suresh Hari, Chairman of CREDAI Bangalore opines that Bangalore should follow Chennai, as it is the leading city in India in terms of policy-making and development.

The recent bill is another extensive step towards sustainable living in India. Real estate has for some time now, embraced this notion keeping in mind the welfare of people and the surrounding. RHW is a basic amenity for ensuring an environment-friendly lifestyle. It should be embraced and followed for our very own well-being. We have successfully utilised solar power. It is high time we think about using rainwater in the best possible way.

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