HYDERABAD: A division bench of the High Court on Wednesday told the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to explore the possibility of making a rule that occupancy certificate will not be issued to residential constructions which do not have rain water harvesting structures (RWHS).
The bench sought to know from the GHMC by Thursday what action it had taken to bring awareness among the people about the importance of having rain water harvesting structures in every house and apartment complex in the city.
The bench, comprising acting chief justice Dilip B Bhosale and justice P Naveen Rao, was dealing with a PIL filed by S.Vaidehi Reddy, a resident of the city, seeking directions to the state government, GHMC and other respondent authorities to ensure strict enforcement of GO Ms No.350 dated June 9, 2009 adopted in the AP Building Rules, 2012 pertaining to rain water harvesting structures for all the buildings wherever applicable in the Hyderabad city.
The bench felt that there was a dire need to conduct awareness campaign by using the social, electronic and print media propagating the importance of rain water harvesting structures to raise the ground water table.
The petitioner's counsel contended that despite the constitutional mandate on the authorities to undertake steps and enforce measures for conservation of water through means like rain-water harvesting, they have been lackadaisical in ensuring enforcement and enforcing penalties for contraventions. He sought court's interference to address the problem.
Stating that 85 per cent of the people were depending on ground water resources for their drinking needs, the counsel said that it was the first time after 30 years that the water levels of both Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes, the prime drinking source to the city, went down drastically. The bench directed GHMC to take steps for construction of RWHS in identified public places, and adjourned to Thursday for further hearing.