While the first shower of the season drenched a scorched city, the GHMC has once again appealed to the citizens, residential welfare associations, voluntary agencies and educational institutions to avail themselves of its help to set up rainwater harvesting (RWH) structures. Mayor Mohd. Majid Hussain and GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu told presspersons on Wednesday that the Municipal Corporation would bear 50 per cent of the cost of RWHs in apartment blocks and individual buildings. Respective residential colony welfare associations and voluntary agencies can also approach the Deputy Commissioner or the Executive Engineer of the municipal circle concerned for setting up RWHs in parks and public places. “The GHMC will provide technical expertise for the structures and reimburse half the cost upon inspection of the same. Each RWH costs between Rs.10,000-Rs.15,000 and the DCs/EEs have been given powers to take up such structures worth Rs.50,000 each,” they said. Anything costing more will have to be referred to the head office.
Requisitions for RWHs can also be made through the 24/7 call centre – 155304/23302440 and also online – ghmc.gov.in. Sanctions will be given in 15 days. The target is 10,000 RWHs this year at a cost of Rs. 6 crore and thus far, 2,571 have been built at Rs. 3.1 crore. The Commissioner pointed out that roof-tops of apartments and buildings are good collection sources for rain water. “Channelising the water into RWHs will help replenish the depleted groundwater,” he said. Mr. Krishna Babu pointed out while it was safe to source groundwater up to depths of 300 ft-400 ft, in many areas the ground water had plummeted to 1,000 ft. “Water sourced from extreme depths may not be potable unless tested as it may contain metals,” he said. “Alarm bells about depleting ground water are ringing and everyone has to be conscious of it. We will take up construction of RWHs on a campaign mode. We have already requested the Government to make them compulsory for buildings coming up in less than 300 square yards also,” he said. He hailed the initiative of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) for assisting in taking up RWHs in 32 colonies like Gulmohur, Vasantnagar and other areas.