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Wednesday , May 24 , 2000
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Water harvesting mandatory

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE


RAJKOT, MAY 23: The State Government has decided to make it compulsory for each highrise in the three municipal corporations of Saurashtra to build underground tanks for storage of rain water. Old techniques of water harvesting are once again being revived to battle the frequent droughts.

Urban Development Minister Parmanand Khattar has directed the Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar Municipal Corporations to implement these methods of water harvesting. Khattar told Express Newsline that he had already directed the civic bodies to implement this in all new highrise constructions as they could afford it. Soon, all constructions will be required to build underground tanks, he added.

Studies reveal that earlier every house in the region from Dwarka to Junagadh used to have undergound tanks for storing rain water. Some still exist in the region. These tanks used to be totally packed fAXroom all sides with only a small opening on the top. The water from these tanks used to fulfill the drinking water needs of the entire household for over a year.

With declining water tables and lack of any new sources of water, such tanks are the only fool-proof method of water conservation.

In fact, as the region faces one of its worst droughts, residents of Dwarka are relatively better off as they had conserved rain water, inspite of receiving only three inches of rainfall last year.

Gijubhai Bharad of the community science centre here says harvesting rain water is a more viable option as compared to recharging bores. The water stored in underground water tanks remains pure for a year and can be used for drinking, he added.

Water conservationist Paresh Pandya says rain water is the purest form of water. It can be stored for over a year in tanks and can be used for purposes of drinking, he added. Though underground tanks involve high costs, the investment is worth it, he added.

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