GDA orders survey to find status of 799 rainwater harvesting units in city
The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has ordered a survey to know the number of dysfunctional rainwater harvesting (RWH) units as also the number of trees that are to be planted in residential areas as per the provisions of the building bylaws. Officials said all RWH units should be made functional and action will be taken against those who fail to do so.
Officials said that as per their list, there are a total of 799 RWH units in residential buildings in the areas under GDA’S jurisdiction. All of these were given No-objection Certificate after 2012. As per the building bylaws, it is mandatory for plots of 300 square metre or above to have provisions for RWH units.
Authority vice chairperson Kanchan Verma said, “We have ordered a verification of functional and dysfunctional RWH units. The enforcement department officials are conducting a survey. A report will be submitted soon. We are trying to ensure that the report is made available soon so that we can take up the task of making all RWH units operational — in monsoon.”
The provision for making RWH units was started in 2002-03. Initially, it covered plots with an area 2000 square metre or above for all categories of buildings. Later, the limit was brought down to 500 square metres to cover more area and presently the limit is set for plots of 300 square metres or above.
According to UP groundwater department, water level in different areas has gone down between
2013 and 2018. According to figures, the post monsoon water level at Vaishali in 2013 was 21.45 metres below ground level (mbgl) while it stood at 33.45 mbgl post monsoon in
2018. Similarly, the Sahibabad area recorded 16.57 mbgl post monsoon in 2013 and recorded
26.85 mbgl post monsoon in 2018. Likewise, Prahladgarhi (Vasundhara) recorded post monsoon figure of 23.04 mbgl in 2013 while it came further down to 32.97 mbgl in 2018.
“The groundwater recharge is essential and RWH units are one of the measures for recharge and should be functional. On our part, we are now going for water harvesting measures in our 102 different parks. This will involve shallow digging of the land so that rainwater can seep into the ground and help recharge of groundwater,” Verma added.
The authority has also asked the officials to find out whether the required number of trees as part of the building bylaws are planted in housing projects or not.
According to the state of forest - 2017 report of the Forest Survey of India the forest cover in Ghaziabad district stood at 2.21% of its geographical area. During the earlier 2015 survey report the forest cover of the district stood at
1.89% of its total geographical area. The ‘forest cover’ includes all lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10 percent. Such lands may not be statutorily notified as forest area.
Plantation of trees in specified number is part of building bylaws and have to be planted mandatorily. “The housing projects are not given completion certificates if they do not plant the set number of trees. As an enforcement measure, the buildings can be sealed if specified number of trees or RWH unit is not in place as per norms. It will be deemed to be violation of the conditions of the sanctioned maps if the norms are not followed or violated,” said Ashish Shivpuri,chief architect and town planner, GDA.
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- Sector 20 police registered a case and arrested one of the two suspects. Police, however, termed it as a case of murder and not harassment.