TRICHY: Decades after rainwater harvesting (RWH) was made mandatory in all private and government buildings, the practice of genuinely harvesting the available rainwater has lost its significance over the years. With the stakeholder departments hardly interested in giving it adequate emphasis and civic bodies equally lax in enforcing RWH mechanisms in buildings, the seasonal and unseasonal rain has been heading to the drainage canals.
Citing the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2003, the state government had instructed all government and private buildings to compulsory install rainwater harvesting structure. Though property tax for buildings is assessed only after ensuring the presence of RWH mechanism, this has been largely ignored over the years.
Though several buildings in the city have installed RWH, the structure remains idle with hardly any harvesting of rainwater happening. Residents were to filter and collect the rainwater in a tank to meet the domestic water demands by constructing a pit at the place where pipes from the terrace drain the rainwater collecting there, but this is hardly done.
“Local bodies are not giving adequate importance to the RWH mechanism to achieve self-sufficiency in the water needs of an individual household. Special drives should be conducted to rejuvenate the forgotten RWH mechanism,” R Kathan, a retired health inspector, Anna Nagar.
While RWH mechanism is capable of storing at least 100 litres of water if it rains heavily for about 5 minutes, the importance of the mechanism seems lost on the residents. Sources in Trichy corporation said that of the total 2.19 lakh assessments, about 2 lakh buildings had established the mandatory RWH mechanism. However, even a majority of them have not been properly maintaining the facility.
While special awareness drives are being conducted for solid waste management and anti-plastic drives, residents opined that RWH mechanism was being neglected and had not been given the importance it deserved.
Official sources in the city corporation acknowledged the lapses in enforcing the presence of RWH in households. They claimed they would consider promoting the importance of RWH among the city residents.