Even as the city is faced with a shortage of drinking water supply and depleting ground water table this summer, the City Corporation has decided to revive all rain water harvesting structures that were created across the city during the previous AIADMK regime.

Although rain water harvesting (RWH) structures were promoted in a big way in 2001-06 under the previous AIADMK government, most of them are in disuse now. The civic body has now decided to launch a special drive, in the wake of the water shortage this summer, to revive all existing RWH structures or create new ones in all private and public buildings in the city. The move comes in the wake of instructions from government.

Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani, who convened a meeting with officials to discuss the modalities for reviving the RWH structures on Tuesday, told The Hindu that the civic body intended to make a mass movement again so that the structures were ready in time before the onset of monsoon. The revival of the structures, the Corporation hopes, will help improve the ground water table irrespective of the water flow in the Cauvery River, an important factor which determines the water table in most parts of the city.

The Commissioner in a recent press release had already asked all residents to keep the RWH structures functional or face action, including disconnection of drinking water supply.

Most of the buildings in the city have RWH structures as it is mandatory for getting plan approvals, but they may require some renovation or repairs to make them functional. “Twenty special teams comprising Corporation officials have been formed to inspect all the 1.91 lakh properties in the city. In the coming days, the teams will inspect all buildings to verify and ensure that all the RWH structures were functional before July 31,” Mr.Thandapani said.

If the buildings did not have the structures, the property owners will be asked to create them. The Corporation will also extend support to the property owners in creating the structures. “For instance, if RWH structures have to be created in a group of houses in a particular street we can identify agencies or contractors to do the job as this would help in bringing down the cost,” Mr.Thandapani said.

Models of RWH structures will also be made available in all Corporation zonal offices. The civic body will simultaneously launch an information campaign to sensitise residents to the importance of rain water harvesting.

Asked about government buildings, Mr.Thandapani said the official teams will also inspect them and prepare a report listing the buildings that do not have the structures and forward it to the government. The Public Works Department, he said, could also be requested to create or revive the structures in government buildings.