Residents across the national capital are not complying with the rainwater harvesting by-laws despite the government agencies and environmentalists have earnestly been urging them to adopt the technique to overcome the overall domestic water scarcity.
According to municipal bodies’ building by-laws, each house built in minimum 200 yards has to adopt RWH (Rain Water Harvesting). But sources in the civic bodies stated that the initiative has not picked up due to lack of skills coupled and poor implementation of the laws on ground.
"When people apply for provision of sanction of maps for buildings in Delhi, they pull the plug on the process just before it reaches the final stage of approval. Once the process is initiated, it shows as passed," said official in North Corporation.
Further, the Delhi High Court also issued a direction to Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to promote and make RWH attractive in private buildings in the city.
According to environmentalists converting a single metro station with rainwater harvest capability it could annually save 800 gallons of water, which continues to be ignored by the officials.
The Water Ministry has urged the states to make rooftop rainwater harvesting mandatory in by-laws for new buildings. Even though it has been implemented on paper, there is nothing to show on the ground. According to sources, Delhi and national capital region (NCR) receive 611 mm of rainfall on an average annually and the numbers of rainy days are as low as 20-30, yet the water saving technique is a workable model to gather water from precipitation.
The Deputy Chairman Standing Committee, North Corporation, Rajesh Bhatiya who is likely to move a proposal for strict implementation of rain harvesting under its jurisdiction, said that groundwater is being used extensively in the Delhi for both irrigation and raw water requirement.
Thus the water level has gone drastically down from 40 miters to 200 miters. It has been matter of concern for Delhi’its.
"I will advocate for funding, that should be given to the councillors, so that they can develop minimum five rain water harvesting in each ward of North Corporation. And the old one such as Bawali (well) and ponds should be revamped and maintained," said Rajesh Bhatiya.
Also in 2009, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), a body under the Ministry of Water Resources had sounded an alarm to all states to adopt the rooftop rain water harvesting systems in government institutions.
In Delhi, this process is still restricted to only a few such institutions even though the Centre provides financial and technical support for such projects.