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TWAD asks corporates, activists to help build rainwater harvesting units
A day after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the water managers and the district collectors have been directed to take up water shortage issues on war footing, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board has done a Strength, weakness, opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis to address the tail end areas and has reached out to corporates, philanthropists, social activists.
The board on Friday urged all the stakeholders, including philanthropists and corporate companies, in Tamil Nadu to come forward to build massive rainwater harvesting structures across the State. Quoting SWOT analysis, the TWAD board said that the State consists of 73 per cent hard rock and 27 per cent soft rock. Due to overexploitation and less percolation, the hard rock yields are very less. In the case of soft rock areas, the water has started turning saline due to overexploitation and seawater infiltration into the land. Hence, water resources in Tamil Nadu are limited and scarce, it said.
In a statement, TWAD board director C N Mahesvaran urged the volunteers to make use of the block level atlas (hydro-geo-morphological maps) which shows high potential areas for construction of rainwater harvesting structure and the water availability of an area to drill bore wells. The atlas is available at all Collectorates, Project Director’s office of DRDA and also with the executive engineers of the TWAD Board.
TWAD Board is providing safe potable equitable drinking water for 4.23 crore people of Tamil Nadu except for Chennai Metropolitan Area. It supplies 1,816 million litres a day (MLD) against the designed quantity of 2,146 MLD, covering 8 Corporations, 67 municipalities, 347 Town Panchayats and 48,948 rural habitations, Mahesvaran said in the statement.
However, responding on the issue, Shekhar Raghavan, a pioneer in rainwater harvestingstructure and founder of Rain Centre, said that the government has failed to understand the seriousness of the issue.
“I don’t understand the purpose of reaching out to the public and NGOs when the water shortage is acute. The government talks about rainwater harvesting only when there is drought. Otherwise, the issue is forgotten. There is zero per cent rainwater penetration in Chennai due to concretisation and poor design of storm water drains. TWAD and Chennai Metro Water should take committed people on board and work towards rainwater harvesting. Otherwise, storm water will continue to drain into the sea without any purpose,” he said.