CGWA retires hurt
In December 2001, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) organised rainwater harvesting workshops for resident welfare associations. The CGWA had issued notices stating that come December 31, 2001, tubewell owners who have not implemented rainwater harvesting, will have their tubewells sealed and in order to facilitate implementation, these workshops were organised. They were in for a rude shock. Anticipating eager students all they heard were angry protest by the residents who felt that they were being targeted unfairly and punished as the ban did not apply to the whole of Delhi. Moreover affluent and unauthorised colonies were also left out of this regulation.
CGWAs ruling applies to colonies, schools, hotels and industrial areas in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, barring the trans-Yamuna region where the water table is high. In addition to sealing of the tubewells, under the Environment Protection Act, defaulters can be imprisoned up to five years and be slapped a fine up to Rs one lakh.
The lessons to be learnt from the peoples response are many: that mere legislation is not enough; that massive awareness is required; and, that the government will have to use both the carrot and stick in the form of incentives (subsidies or tax incentives) for implementing rainwater harvesting schemes, and disincentives in the form of water pricing.
The CGWA has however, taken the easy way out. It has extended the deadline for implementing rainwater harvesting.
Rooftop area of your residence =______________ Sq m, Average annual rainfall =___________ mm, Annual water harvesting potential =___________ litres Even as the demand-supply gap of drinking water is rising every day, we are wasting large amount of primary source of water!
Want to harvest this water?
If yes, write to R K Srinivasan or Suresh Babu S V,
Centre for Science and Environment,
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi 110 062, Phone: +91-11-608 3394, 608 1124, ext: 267,
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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