Govt mulls mandated rainwater harvesting in rural areas

RainwaterHarvesting (Photo DH News Services)

The state government is mulling over introducing a rule to make it compulsory for commercial establishments in rural areas to take up rainwater harvesting, Krishna Byre Gowda, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister, said on Saturday.

“Currently, rainwater harvesting is mandatory in urban areas and not for rural areas. We are exploring making it compulsory in rural areas. We will soon issue a circular,” Gowda told reporters.

Karnataka has declared 2019 as its Year of Water. This is under the Jalamrutha campaign to increase water literacy. “On June 11, on a single day, we will plant at least 30 lakh trees to give Jalamrutha a major push,” Gowda said.

“We’re looking at 500 trees in every gram panchayat and there are 6,000 gram panchayats. On that day, it will be compulsory for all government institutions - schools and offices - to plant saplings so that we lead by example,” he added.

His department will now include the cost of rainwater recharge structures in the estimates that are prepared for infrastructure projects. “For rural roads, we will link the defect liability (a period of time in which the contractor is responsible for maintenance) with planting of trees,” Gowda said.

By the end of the 2019-20 fiscal, the department will ensure completion of 20,000 water harvesting structures across the state at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

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