STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Centre taps urban local bodies to ensure efficiency in water use

The Jal Shakti ministry has identified at least 255 districts and 1,597 blocks across the country as water stressed, as have 756 ULBs.

Published: 09th July 2019 11:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2019 11:09 AM   |  A+A-

Water starved residents of Chennai collect as much drinking water as possible from a government-run Metro Water filling station in the city. ( Photo | EPS)

Water starved residents of Chennai collect as much drinking water as possible from a government-run Metro Water filling station in the city. ( Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

With a water crisis looming large over India’s major cities, the government has decided to rope in urban local bodies (ULBs) to ensure the efficient usage of water, recharging of groundwater and monitoring of water body pollution.

According to officials, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the newly formed Ministry of Jal Shakti to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to ensure water security, in line with the target set by the Centre to provide tap water to all households within the next five years.

“The ministry has been asked to rope in ULBs to promote efficient water usage. This will involve ensuring rainwater harvesting in residential areas, reviving ponds, lakes and other water bodies, and monitor water pollution. Further, it will also keep a check on where the waste is being disposed in water bodies,” a senior official from MOHUA told this publication.

ALSO READ: Gajendra Singh Sekhawat pricks Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over Jal Shakti project posters

The ministry has also asked all ULBs to set up a cell for effective monitoring of rainwater harvesting and revival of at least one water body in their respective areas.

To implement this, the MoHUA has already issued ‘Guidelines for Urban Water Conservation’, saying that the ‘Rainwater Harvesting Cell’ of all municipal corporations will monitor groundwater extraction and aquifer recharge in urban areas.

According to these guidelines, ULBs will make sure all buildings that were granted permissions must incorporate RWH (rainwater harvesting) structures as per building bye-laws.

The same should be checked before issuing them Occupancy-cum-Completion Certificates.

“ULBs should constitute a Rainwater Harvesting Cell which will be responsible for the effective monitoring of rainwater harvesting in the city,” as per the guidelines that were issued as a part of the first phase of ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ started on July 1 and will continue till September 15 this year.

The second phase will start from October 1 and end on November 30, 2019.

ALSO READ: Jal Shakti minister faces backlash in Rajasthan for saying water crisis 'is not as bad as it is shown by media'

Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi has also pitched for rainwater conservation in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’, noting that there was a pressing need to make this a mass movement along the lines of the cleanliness drive.

The new water conservation guidelines also point out that the concretisation of urban public spaces like footpaths and walkways in parks, has had an adverse effect on natural water percolation.

“Concretisation increases surface run-off and restricts natural percolation of water contributing to urban flooding. ULBs should undertake de-concretizing of pavements,” it said.

The Jal Shakti ministry has identified at least 255 districts and 1,597 blocks across the country as water stressed, as have 756 ULBs.

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp