Millennium Post

Mayor pushes for rainwater harvesting

Kolkata: The state government is contemplating to go for rainwater harvesting mandatory in Bengal to tide over the drinking water crisis, Firhad Hakim, urban development minister said on Thursday.

He said: "Though we are fortunate to have River Hooghly from where water is being lifted and treated before supplying to individual households but steps should be taken to stop wastage of drinking water. The government is contemplating to make rain water harvesting mandatory," he said.

Experts have pointed out that by 2050, 40 per cent of the Indian population will be affected by drinking water crisis. Already drinking water scarcity has been reported from Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

He said awareness campaign to conserve drinking water will be launched. Drinking water is used to wash cars, water the roadside trees, cleaning, flushing and gardening. Moreover, in many areas filtered water is wasted through the roadside taps. Around 40 million gallons of filtered water is wasted every day. Many people said as there is no water tax in Bengal people waste drinking water. The KMC supplies 44.50 crore gallon of filtered water daily.

It may be recalled earlier, the KMC used to supply unfiltered water to clean the city streets and it was supplied to individual households from Mullickghat pumping station. There was separate overhead tanks to store unfiltered water. This water was used for flushing. The system of cleaning the city roads with unfiltered water was stopped following outbreak of Cholera in the mid 1960s after some slum dwellers consumed unfiltered water.

If rainwater is harvested, then this water will be used for cleaning, flushing, gardening and washing cars.

It may be mentioned that Shanta Sheela Nair, Commissioner of Chennai Municipal Corporation was first to make rainwater harvesting mandatory in India.

Later, it was used by the Rajasthan government.

It may be mentioned that in New Town, a pilot project on rainwater harvesting has been introduced. Around 2000 litres of rainwater is harvested and the water is used for water organic farming which is being carried out of the roof top of a commercial market.

Also, the water I the Sewage Treatment plants in Sector V in Salt Lake and New Town is recycled and this water is used for watering roadside plants and tall tree gardens.

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