At a time when water shortage is on everyone’s minds and “water councils” are being held by the civic body to discuss how to ameliorate the situation, one would expect the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to do everything in its capacity to conserve water. However, the civic body missed a good window to conserve water by not setting up rainwater harvesting systems in its parks this year.
Although ₹2 crore was allotted to the Department of Horticulture in the BBMP budget this year for this purpose, officials are yet to identify possible sites to set up rainwater harvesting systems in the parks. According to BBMP Deputy Director (Horticulture) Mohammed Ali, of the 1,200-odd parks in the city, 831 were equipped with rainwater harvesting structures a couple of years ago. However, no funds were allotted to increase this number in 2016. This year, while funds were allotted, the actual allocation to each zone was done just 10 days ago by civic officials. Sites have still not been identified.
Mr. Ali said it will take between two and six months to set up a recharge well and lay pipelines to divert water into it. With each harvesting system costing around ₹60,000, it would be possible to set up at least 333 structures.
Bengaluru’s parks are known to be water guzzlers. During the summer months of April and May, nearly 72,000 litres of water was supplied every day by tankers to keep the parks and medians in the core areas of the city green. This was double the water used last year, according to horticulture officials.
The civic administration had a more proactive approach to conserving water earlier and the Rainwater Harvesting Theme Park in Jayanagar was set up in 2011 with the goal of educating citizens about the different ways to implement rainwater harvesting in their homes.