No data to back up PMC’s rainwater harvesting scheme

While the project was initiated in 2007, official figures remain sketchy
Despite Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) initiative to set up rainwater har vesting to save water in the city, the civic body has no updated data to show the project’s effective implementation.Now, the state government has sent out a fresh mandate to all municipal corporations and councils for rainwater harvesting, keeping in mind the water scarcity across the state.PMC had made rooftop rainwater harvesting mandatory for all new buildings that have come up since 2007 with an area of 3,000 square feet. To ensure implementation, the corporation had also announced a 10 per cent concession in property tax for societies that successfully executed the plan, along with vermicomposting and solar heating. Pune city has more than 40,000 societies (registered and unregistered). However, out of these, only 2,004 set up rainwater harvesting project according to last year’s data. The figure has been mentioned on PMC’s official website.

Prashanta Waghmare, city engineer of PMC, said, “There are lots of people setting up rainwater harvesting on their rooftops. But, not everyone takes the benefit of the property scheme concession. Therefore, it does not show up in the property tax data.“

He added, “We have made harvesting mandatory for all buildings which came up since 2007 and even for those existing before. In the new building plan, the project has been specifically mentioned and we will not provide a completion certificate without the harvesting set up on the roof.“ On the other hand, the rainwater harvesting system has been installed only at the PMC main building. In May this year, the civic body decided to instal the system on 74 civic buildings in the city at a cost of Rs 1.75 crore.

The state government has made provisions for the project in the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, mentioning that every building mentioned in the sub-rule should ensure that the rainwater harvesting structure is maintained well for storage of water for non-potable purposes or recharge of groundwater at all times. The municipal commissioner may impose a levy of Rs 1,000 per annum for every 100 sq m of built-up area for the failure of the owner of any building mentioned in the sub-rule to provide or maintain the harvesting structures as required under by-laws.

PMC is the only local urban body in the country to take up implementation of the eco-housing programme with technical assistance from the United States Agency for International Development. However, there are not many takers for water management system in the city.

Source : Mirror