Harvesting rainwater on flyovers, bridges

Harvesting rainwater on flyovers, bridges

Beyond houses, vast stretches of the city’s civic infrastructure and government institutions could harvest rain water that otherwise get drained out. Why not use the potential of flyovers, bridges, subways and other structures to collect rain water?

This was precisely the thinking behind a petition that led the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to direct in August that no government project should be approved without a clause on rainwater harvesting (RWH). The Tribunal had ruled that developing a RWH system should be part of a flyover / bridge project’s tender documents. To ensure that the systems are working efficiently and properly maintained, NGT had also sought an officer in each department.

Bengaluru does have some projects with built in RWH systems. On Namma Metro’s Reach 1 from Baiyappanahalli to MG Road, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) has built underground tanks with 3,000-litre capacity on either side of every second pillar.
The pillars on the 33-km overground stretch of the Metro Phase 1 have inbuilt downpipes to collect rainwater from the viaduct into the underground tanks. Once the tanks get filled, the excess rainwater is diverted to havesting pits of 18-ft and 5-ft.

To popularise RWH, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) had opened the Sir M Visvesvaraya RWH Park in Jayanagar 5th block in March 2011. Spread over one acre, the Park does give visitors an understanding of the entire RWH process and installation of the system in houses and apartments. However, statistics reveal that the turnout of visitors has been poor in the last four years.

The Water Board officials say spreading awareness is the key to better implementation of RWH systems. “We have had meetings with many builders and architects on the issue, and even trained more than 1,600 personnel. About 25,000 students have visited the theme park. Efforts are slowly paying off,” informs an official.

Many new layouts on the city’s outskirts have started incorporating RWH systems. On Hosur road, for instance, an entire layout with 320 houses has strived to be self-sufficient in non-potable water through the RWH approach. The layout’s roads, footpaths, parks and rooftops of houses have been designed to collect water and recharge the groundwater, benefiting the inhouse borewells.

In Malleswaram, efforts are afoot to revive a few old wells, that were once the obvious choice for collection of precious rainwater.

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