Highlighting the need for taking steps to implement stormwater management in the urban areas in general and coastal cities in particular, retired director of the Centre for Water Resources, Anna University, M. Kaarmegam, on Wednesday said creating awareness at the grassroots about the use of groundwater and the importance of rainwater harvesting was the need of the hour.

Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day training workshop on ‘Storm water management in urban areas' organised by the deltaic regional centre of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) here, Prof. Kaarmegam explained in detail the groundwater table in coastal areas and the adverse effect of its exploitation.

Recycling

“The situation in Chennai city is a classic example to showcase the scenario. People have dug borewells everywhere and it has resulted in salination of groundwater,” he said, adding that rainwater harvesting would yield good results in the coastal areas than in any other area, as the areas were known for sandy bed.

Prof. Kaarmegam wondered why the government was not asking the people to solve the water problem at the individual level. “It will help people know about the importance of water and make them prevent exploitation of this natural resource. Recycling of water must be encouraged at all levels,” he said.

Commissioner of Kakinada Municipal Corporation V. Ravi Kumar explained in detail the practical difficulties with the stormwater management. He said maintenance of sewage was posing a major challenge to the civic body and the underground drainage project was beyond the reach of the corporation.

Scientist from the NIH and coordinator of the training programme Y.R. Satyaji Rao said the training programme would help the participants know about the methods of measuring rainfall and how to prevent problems such as inundation during the time of heavy rains.

Professor in civil engineering from JNTUK K. Purnanandam was present.