No rainwater harvesting units in 428 distt schools
Of 575 government schools in the district, 428 lack rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems, reveals a recent survey done by the GuruJal team under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. In Gurugram block, 137 schools of 204 do not have RWH units, which helps recharge groundwater.
“Currently, RWH systems are present in only 121 primary and senior secondary schools, of which 23 schools have defunct systems six schools are still constructing them,” Shubhi Kesarwani, programme manager, GuruJal, said.
“The survey was conducted as an important part of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan,” she said, adding that the district development and panchayat department as well as the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) team are assisting GuruJal in constructing RWH structures in schools . She said the project has been put on the fast-track mode.
Kesarwani said that the target this year is to complete constructing RWH systems in 85 schools.
The district development and panchayat officer, Narendra Sarwan, said that the department is on a mission to get RWH systems functional in government schools.
“Work has started in a few schools that are under gram panchayats which were given the mandate to construct RWH systems. Before the Jal Shakti Abhiyan came into the picture, the systems were not a priority for panchayats, but now under the official mandate, they have to utilise some of their funds for water conservation,” Sarwan said.
Earlier this month, the district administration also conducted a drive to trace defunct RWH systems in government and residential buildings. According to officials, over 200 non-functional RWH units were found. Of 627 RWH units in 35 wards under the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), only 100 were cleaned before the monsoon, whereas the MCG’s target was to clean 174 structures.
Even the Town and Country Planning Department during their inspection of 414 RWH units, found 109 partially functional and 64 defunct RWH units.
Going by the 2018 NITI Aayog’s report, Haryana, on the whole, failed in groundwater restoration due to the lack of a proper and well-maintained groundwater recharge infrastructure. In 2005, the state had introduced its first groundwater recharge scheme — soil and water conservation scheme for the accelerated recharge of groundwater. Through this scheme, different departments under the district administration were assigned the task of constructing RWH units in government buildings, schools, panchayat buildings, and public health centres.