Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Consequent to the promulgation of a July 19 ordinance, the deadline for installation has been advanced from October 10, stipulated in a government notification last year, sources say.
According to data available with the Government, the number of government and non-government buildings and public places having RWH structures is about 1.23 crores. Nearly 97 lakh more buildings and public places are to be provided with similar structures.
In a statement today, the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, said local bodies would instal the RWH structures in buildings which did not have the facility and recover the cost from the property owners. A penalty by way of disconnection of water supply was also provided for, if the structures were not established by October 10. However, she expressed the hope that such an eventuality would not arise.
Ms. Jayalalithaa also announced an award scheme for children, who successfully motivated their parents to provide the RWH structures in their homes, besides sending personal letters to them. In every district, three schools and three teachers would be given prizes for propagating the concept. In addition, shields would be presented to the Collectors of the best districts.
No building plan would be sanctioned by the local bodies unless property owners incorporated the rainwater harvesting structures. ``On my instructions, the building rules of the local bodies have been amended to make it mandatory for building owners and occupiers to provide for RWH not only in proposed buildings but also in existing buildings and those under construction," the Chief Minister said.
While Chennai Metrowater would render technical advice to property owners in the city, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board would take care of the remaining parts of the State, covering municipalities, town panchayats and village panchayats.
She said she had written to all Mayors of Corporations, chairpersons, and vice-chairpersons of municipalities and town panchayats and presidents of village panchayats, appealing to them to join the movement.
The Chief Minister said cheap and cost-effective RWH structures could be provided and these would not be a burden to the rural poor. The beneficial impact of providing rainwater harvesting structures would be realised during next summer, as was revealed by success stories of property owners who put up the units last year.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said the campaign for rainwater harvesting would cover the State, involving educational institutions. The Collectors had been directed to organise massive rallies and human chains involving voluntary organisations and students. They had been asked to involve women self-help groups in rural areas and organise seminars exclusively for women to sensitise them to the utility of providing RWH structures.
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