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| Last Updated:01/04/2014

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Garbage, sewage and silt found in rain water harvesting systems

AKANKSHA JAIN, The Hindu, 01 April 2014


NEW DELHI: Garbage, silt and dirty filters characterise the over 120 rain water harvesting systems (RWHSs) set up at its stations by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, while other government authorities like the Delhi Jal Board, the Public Works Department and other government hospitals have been found to be no better.

The Delhi Jal Board, which claims on its website, to have implemented RWHSs in 190 buildings and given huge financial assistance in 169, was found to be lacking too as those installed in Vasant Kunj, MB Road, Khanpur and Saket are in dire need for maintenance and have silted chambers, slotted pipes or are completely non-functional.


Two PWD sites – MB Road and Pushp Vihar – also revealed garbage and silt in RWHSs. At MB Road, trenches were not made for harvesting rain water but for fountains during the Commonwealth Games and are now being used as garbage pits.


The sorry state of RWHSs was brought to light in a report placed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee before the National Green Tribunal.


A DPCC inspection team found two RWHSs at Chhatarpur Metro station had garbage, broken covers, improper conveyance system which was not fit for collection of rain water. The two RWHSs at Sultanpur Metro station and one at Ghitorni were also filled with soil. Other such systems from Qutab Metro station to Pillar No. P224 after Arjun Garh Metro station had no bore wells.


The harvesting system installed by the MCD in its school at Aya Nagar was contaminated with plastic waste. The NDMC and the DDA also put up a bad performance.


Even the All-India Institute of Medial Sciences was found failing in its duty towards environment conservation as the DPCC said almost all the 23 RHWSs there were filled with post-monsoon silt.


At Safdarjung Hospital, of the 24 RWHS, only 21 were working and even these 21 were found to be not satisfactory, improperly constructed and ill-maintained and their pits were loaded with garbage dump, debris and post-monsoon silt.


The DPCC team also inspected RWHSs at Saket City Hospital here and found the structure full of waste water. The ones at Batra Hospital at Tuglakabad Institutional Area were silted up and deficiencies were observed in respect of bio-medical waste.


The overflow pipes from the recharge structure were found connected in the manholes which are part of the storm water drain outside hospital premises and waste water from the hospital laundry was being discharged into the said storm water drain. “During monsoon, this waste water may mix with the rain water and may contaminate the ground water,” the DPCC report said.


Improper structure of RWHSs was also reported from the Rockland hospital and JPN Apex Trauma Centre.