Recharging groundwater: Gayathrinagar shows the way

Recharging groundwater: Gayathrinagar shows the way

Residents of Gayathrinagar have come up with scientific solutions to recharge the depleting groundwater table and prevent waterlogging during rains.

They have constructed 12 percolation pits inside the stormwater drains located close to their homes.

These pits help rainwater seep into the ground, recharging th aquifer. The residents have borne the costs from their own pockets after their attempts to seek help from the government and the BBMP went vain.

Girish Lakkanna, a social activist and a member of the group of residents, says that they met various ministers and officials but their assurances have remained on paper. “BBMP is taking the initiative to construct recharge wells and percolation pits, but it is not executing the project in a scientific way. It is not constructing more pits to enable maximum rainwater enter these pits for groundwater recharge.”

K R Suresh, another resident, said these pits have to be at least six feet deep from the ground level. “A stormwater drain is normally three feet deep and another three feet has to be dug to create a pit by installing holed cement slabs on the sides. Then fill a layer of gravel, and cover them with a mesh and a layer of sand before covering the pit with another cement slab. It will cost not more than Rs 5,000 to carry out the construction of a percolation pit measuring six feet deep and 4.5 feet in length,” he added.

Of the number of stormwater drains necessary in the City, hardly 30 per cent are in place and they are under construction at many places, said K R Suresh.  “As these drains are being constructed, BBMP can take up the work of constructing the percolation pits simultaneously with less expenditure, but no one in the BBMP office is ready to listen to us,” added Suresh.

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana had written to the zonal officers in January, directing them to create percolation pits and divert rainwater into them to improve the groundwater levels.

He maintained that the BBMP has taken the initiative to construct recharge wells and percolation pits wherever necessary. “The residents who are ready to provide their expertise can approach the zonal engineers directly to help them in the construction work,” he added.

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