None harvests rain water

Published: 04th June 2013 11:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2013 11:49 AM   |  A+A-


A few months back, every drop of water was priceless for Kochiites  with the city witnessing acute water shortage. With monsoon strengthening,  the water woes might have been solved to an extend.

However, the need to save the precious water may not have dawned on most of   us as the majority of the Rain Water Harnessing Units (RWHU) in the city remains unused and it seems all the water we need for next summer might just get wasted this monsoon.

The two RWHUs in front of the Cheranellore panchayat office and one before  the panchayat homoeo dispensary are left without proper maintenance for long years. These RWHUs, which cannot be used now, were built spending lakhs. Cheranellore panchayat president Suresh Babu says people don’t really want to depend on RWHU here. “Though Cheranellore faced severe drought during this summer, people in the vicinity were not willing to use the water from these RWHUs. Why should we repair it then?” asks Suresh.

The RWHUs at the Maharaja’s College were made from the abandoned gas tanks at the chemistry lab. Not only these tanks are ill-equipped to harness rain water, it has also turned to filthy water tank. If not for a board placed next to it, none would recognise it as an RWHU. At the time of its inauguration, conducted by singer K J Yesudas, the scheme boasted about conserving 3 lakh litres of rain water. However, former college principal Mary Metilda said the shortage of funds for maintenance of the tank was the reason for its poor state. “Unless the government allocate funds specifically for the maintenance of RWHUs, the college is helpless,” she said.

A study conducted a few years back reported that Kochi’s 11 lakh residents need 91 million litres of water a day. Out of this, only 68 million litres a day is provided by the Kerala State Water Authority. This makes a strong case to conserve rain water in Kochi.

P S Prakash, Karuvelpady councillor and chairman of Drinking Water Working Group under the Kochi Corporation, said RWHU maintenance should be taken seriously. “Even government hospitals and colleges do not take the issue seriously,” he said. Dr N B Narasimha Prasad, executive director, CWRDM, said besides recharging ground water, RWHUs are particularly important for reducing the pollution.


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