Rainwater harvesting isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity in Pune
A report by the PMC property tax department had claimed that only 724 properties across Pune had started rainwater harvesting in 2015-16. The number had increased to 1,138 properties in 2016-17, but for a city with almost 8,50,000 registered properties, this is extremely negligible.pune Updated: Jul 08, 2017 17:10 IST
A one time investment with sustainable returns is how experts define the effectiveness of rainwater harvesting. They claim that rainwater harvesting can do wonders in the field of water conservation in Pune city, however, Punekars are yet to realise its worth despite PMC’s elaborate initiative to popularise the water conservation method.
Anand Ambekar, a rainwater harvesting consultant and member of the Lion’s club association, shared, “Not only does RWH provide conservation of water, but also money, as it means eliminating the yearly expenditure of buying tankers which are often in crores. Even health wise, it is extremely beneficial as you are not depending on the available ‘hardwater’ which often bears several harmful chemicals like lead and arsenic.
Even if you say you are not drinking that water, it is still being used in agriculture. So eventually, if rainwater harvesting is used in both urban and rural places, it would lead to a healthier and more sustainable society. This reality is still unrealised by many societies, and builders, who hasn’t taken up the initiative despite PMC’s rebate.”
Back in 2007, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had declared a rebate of 5% on the general tax component of property tax for residential properties that implemented environment friendly measures like rainwater harvesting, waste management through vermiculture, and the use of solar power. If a housing society implements any of these initiatives, it gets the 5% discount and if the residential property utilises two or more eco-friendly techniques, the residents get a rebate up to 10%. However, experts feel that the scheme seems to have fallen flat, especially in terms of rainwater harvesting.
“The number of societies or properties adopting rainwater harvesting is almost negligible. It’s not that people haven’t done any good work, but their utilisation of existing water resources and the water received from rainfall every year is not enough ” said Anand Ambekar.
A report by the PMC property tax department had claimed that only 724 properties across Pune had started rainwater harvesting in 2015-16. The number had increased to 1,138 properties in 2016-17, but for a city with almost 8,50,000 registered properties, this is extremely negligible.
Several properties have also begun to club two environment friendly initiatives together, like rainwater harvesting with solar power usage, or vermiculture, thus availing the 10 per cent rebate on property tax. However, the combined sum of all these properties clubbing two initiatives, including rainwater harvesting, is still as low as 7,630 properties, confirms an official from the PMC property tax department. “The older properties don’t usually go for the implementation of rainwater harvesting due to various reasons. Only the new ones at least make an attempt,” said the PMC official.
“At the end of the day, if citizens do not make an effort, the government will continue to make laws, which will continue to be on paper only. A long term attitude needs to be imbibed to see the present and future benefits of such a technology. It is the need of the hour.” Ambekar added.