In Chennai, one residents association’s efforts to construct recharge wells, helped minimise waterlogging after rains

Rainwater recharge wells in open spaces have helped residents of Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar, to minimise waterlogging in most of their streets this monsoon.

It all started during the late 1990s, when a few residents initiated the campaign to conserve water and construct rainwater recharge wells in the colony. Now, the area has nearly 75 recharge wells on its roads, including on Mahalakshmi Avenue, through the joint efforts of the Kalakshetra Colony Welfare Association and the Greater Chennai Corporation.

Residents, including Sridhar Chaganti and Shanthi Krishnan were instrumental in creating awareness among residents on the significance of harnessing rainwater and constructing RWH structures at houses and open spaces.

“Water in the area used to be brackish in the 1990s. There was much improvement in groundwater quality after constructing recharge wells on the corners of the roads. Ms. Krishnan had even persuaded a telecom company to construct some recharge wells then. It also helped in reducing waterlogging on the roads,” said Mr. Chaganti.

This year too, the recharge wells functioned well and the groundwater table was high. Paved spaces both in residential complexes and on roads proved to be an issue. Portions of Arundale Beach Road and Tiger Raghavachari Road were waterlogged during the November rains, residents said.

Priya Rajshekhar, treasurer of the association, said the association had constructed 28 of the recharge wells with its funds. Groundwater that was at a depth of 15 feet is now at a one foot depth. “We are planning to construct four more recharge wells on the waterlogged roads. The association is coordinating with GCC to find a permanent solution to water stagnation on these main roads,” she said.

Sekar Raghavan, director, Rain Centre, who had supported the association’s efforts, noted that at least two feet on either side of the roads in the area must be left unpaved for better groundwater percolation. Stormwater drains would be of no use, and avoiding paved spaces would help in reducing waterlogging, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:28:34 AM |

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