With the groundwater level receding at an alarming rate, Gurgaon should be the last city to ignore rainwater harvesting. With the monsoons a few weeks away, however, residents say most harvesting pits are yet to be cleaned by the authorities. Already reeling under an unprecedented water crisis, denizens feel the official apathy will make next year no different.
Rainwater harvesting pits constructed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) in residential areas have turned into garbage dumps. Most complaints have fallen on deaf ears, residents say.
In Sector 14, the two pits which were supposed to help recharge groundwater have turned into an open garbage dumps. Similarly, in Sector 15, three pits are still underconstruction and the existing 17 pits need to cleaned.
The eight pits in Sector 56, residents say, have also been a victim of the administration’s negligence.
PD Pahuja, a resident of Sector 14, said, “We have approached the administration several times to fix the pits. Why did they waste so much money constructing them if they cannot be put to use?”
Pahuja said the officials listen to complaints patiently, ask their subordinates to look into the matter, but the matter never reaches the solution stage.
“I think the administration thinks that their responsibility simply ends after construction of such facilities,” added SD Bhardwaj, a resident of Sector 56. Studies have revealed that the groundwater level in Gurgaon has fallen by about two metres since 2006 and it has been speculated that the city may run out of groundwater by 2017, given the rampant extraction.
Huda administrator Praveen Kumar admitted that such pits had been ignored but assured that he would look into the matter.
“Though the maintenance of existing pits has been ignored, we would soon start a special campaign to clean them. We are also constructing nearly 500 additional pits to conserve rainwater.”