NEW DELHI: After securing first rank in providing potable water to rural habitations along with a special bonus, Tamil Nadu has been rated number one by the Water Resources Ministry in implementing rain water harvesting projects.
According to the Ministry data, TN has had the maximum chunk of recharging structures implemented during the XI plan. The State has 273 recharge structures, the highest among all states. “It is not just numbers. We are quite happy with the way the TN government is planning the whole thing. There are quite serious about it and the overall implementation is also very good,” said an official with the Water Resources Ministry.
The state had made rainwater harvesting mandatory in 2003 during Chief Minister J Jayalaithaa’s regime. The State had faced severe drought for two consecutive years before that and the order was issued to amend the building rules of local bodies that made it mandatory for building owners and occupants to provide for rain harvesting structure. “No other State has taken to water harvesting the way TN has had. May be because the memories of drought is still afresh,’’ said the Ministry official. The second best in rainwater harvesting is Karnataka with 192 structures followed by UP.
The worst performer in this category is Bihar followed by West Bengal. While Bihar has built only 11 recharge structures under the XI plan, West Bengal has only 30 structures. Tamil Nadu had secured the ‘first rank’ in providing safe drinking water to rural habitations with it scoring highest marks in all indicators.