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Urban Planning

Rainwater harvesting in city to get fillip

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The Hindu             27.11.2013

Rainwater harvesting in city to get fillip

Digging deep:More than 100 water bodies have been identified as having untapped potential for rainwater harvesting —Photo: K. Pichumani
Digging deep:More than 100 water bodies have been identified as having untapped potential for rainwater harvesting —Photo: K. Pichumani

The Chennai Corporation is planning to carry out re-engineering of rainwater harvesting facilities in the city’s water bodies spread over an area of 426 sq. km.

A meeting to discuss steps to be taken to improve rainwater harvesting, disaster preparedness, flood mitigation and drought relief in the city was held on Tuesday.

More than 100 water bodies in the city, excluding the 19 water bodies managed by the Water Resources Department, have been identified as having untapped potential for rainwater harvesting.

The Corporation is planning to implement re-engineering of structures, including stormwater drains, in the neighbourhood of small lakes and ponds maintained by it. The works are likely to include redesign of stormwater drains, landscaping, desilting and plugging of illegal sewer inlets.

The civic body has studied data from a survey of water bodies, which was completed by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority a few years ago.

“A senior official of the erstwhile Ambattur municipality initiated the preparation of estimates for rainwater harvesting in Mangal Eri. But it is yet to be implemented completely. The residents have been requesting the Corporation to implement the project. This will help improve the groundwater level in the neighbourhood,” said K. Neelakandan, councillor of ward 92.

The effort is expected to improve the level of disaster preparedness in the city by mitigating the problem of floods in vulnerable localities. The work would gain pace in the coming months and a complete disaster preparedness information system would be in place shortly, an official said.

According to civic body officials, the Water Resources Department and the Corporation will re-examine the condition of flood-affected areas. The agencies will also be evolving a plan to remove all obstacles for free flow of rainwater into water bodies.

The re-engineering of rainwater harvesting structures in temple tanks a few years ago has improved groundwater levels in areas such as Thiruvanmiyur.

The civic body is also planning to clear encroachments on water bodies that were identified recently. The re-engineering of the structures is expected to elicit protests from some residents who had allegedly constructed houses on encroached land, said an official of the Corporation.

 

Three major drainage schemes awaiting government nod

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The Hindu             22.11.2013

Three major drainage schemes awaiting government nod

SPOT INSPECTION:Sandeep Saxena (left), Monitoring Officer and Commissioner for Agricultural Production, inspecting the bus stand construction work in progress at Varanavasi in Ariyalur district on Thursday.
SPOT INSPECTION:Sandeep Saxena (left), Monitoring Officer and Commissioner for Agricultural Production, inspecting the bus stand construction work in progress at Varanavasi in Ariyalur district on Thursday.

Proposals for three major underground drainage schemes have been submitted for government approval from Ariyalur district, said the monitoring officer and Commissioner for Agricultural Production, Sandeep Saxena, here on Thursday.

The schemes are the Rs. 53.96 crore scheme for Jayamkondam municipality, Rs. 27.23 crore scheme for Udayarpalayam town panchayat, and the Rs. 29.48 crore scheme for Varadarajanpettai town panchayat. Seventy per cent of the underground drainage work had been completed in Ariyalur municipality, Mr. Saxena said, while reviewing the progress of development schemes in the district at a meeting with officials here on Thursday.

No objection certificate had been obtained for an industrial estate of Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation in Ariyalur. The proposed estate would come up on 58.24 acres of land procured from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department. Mr. Saxena said that Rs. 5.2 crore had been spent on the medical treatment of 3,187 beneficiaries under the Chief Minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme in the district. Scholarships worth Rs. 32.45 lakh had been given to students through various departments.

Inspecting the progress of schemes, Mr. Saxena instructed officials to accord priority to safety of passengers while providing lighting at the upcoming bus stand at Varanavasi, about eight km from here.

The Commissioner, accompanied by the Collector, E. Saravanavelraj, also inspected the new Regional Transport Office at Keezhapalur. He asked the contractor to complete the civil work of the sewage treatment plant at Parpanancheri by December, according to an official press release.

 

Rainwater harvesting structures planned along storm-water drains

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The Hindu             14.11.2013

Rainwater harvesting structures planned along storm-water drains

SAVING EVERY DROP:V.P. Thandapani, Commissioner, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation, addressing the gathering at a workshop on 'simple steps to achieve water security' in Tiruchi on Wednesday.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN
SAVING EVERY DROP:V.P. Thandapani, Commissioner, Tiruchirapalli City Corporation, addressing the gathering at a workshop on 'simple steps to achieve water security' in Tiruchi on Wednesday.— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has planned to set up rainwater harvesting structures (RWH) along the storm-water drains in the city soon.

“We have storm-water drains running for about 650 km in the city and RWH structures could be put up every 10 metres along the drains. The structures will have filter beds and pipes running into the ground for up to 20 metres depth to recharge the water table. We will soon incorporate the provision for RWH structures in the design of the storm-water drains,” said Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani here on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a workshop on “simple steps to achieve water sufficiency — rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling,” organised by Rain Centre, Chennai, in the city.

The workshop was meant for members of the media, architects, builders, municipal engineers, and town planners.

Mr. Thandapani, who inaugurated the workshop, pointed out that the corporation had framed bylaws making it illegal for residents to let out sullage from toilets into open drains. Once the bylaws were gazetted, the corporation would launch a campaign to sensitise residents against letting out sullage into the storm-water drains.

Emphasising the need for proper design and maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures, Mr. Thandapani said the corporation had conducted a survey recently and found that nearly 80 per cent of the 1.85 lakh properties in the city had RWH structures. However, many of them were not properly maintained and needed to be revived.

He said most of the RWH structures had not been designed properly in proportion to the built up area and open space in a particular building and the quantity of the rainwater that could be harvested.

In most buildings, RWH structures had been put up to meet minimal requirement and excess rainwater often flowed on to the streets. Builders and engineers should design the RWH structures properly to tap the maximum potential for harvesting rainwater. City residents needed to be educated more on creating proper RWH structures, he said.

Sekhar Raghavan, Director, Rain Centre, Chennai, said although the concept of rainwater harvesting had been talked about for 10 years, it had still not got the importance it deserved. Designing RWH structure for a particular site had not been well understood. These structures had not been maintained properly.

Builders, architects, and engineers had a responsibility to ensure proper design of the structures and implement the concept correctly.

The Akash Ganga Trust, which had set up the Rain Centre, had received a grant from Arghyam, a non-governmental organisation, based in Bangalore, to conduct 15 workshops on efficient methods of rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling in Tamil Nadu. Six of them had been held in Chennai and three each were organised in Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchi, he said.

V. Ganapathy, Liaison Officer, SCOPE, Tiruchi, spoke.

Technical sessions were held on rainwater harvesting and water security.

 


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