Every monsoon puts the spotlight on the poor utilisation of rain water. A report released by ActionAid Association shows that in the stretch between four metro stations in the heart of the city – MG Road to Swami Vivekananda Road – a number of problems like broken and leaky pipes, clogged pits, and water storage tanks have been identified in the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s (BMRCL) rainwater harvesting (RWH) pits.
The report, titled ‘Rainwater Harvesting at Namma Metro,’ carries the findings from a survey conducted in the last week of May covering 156 metro pillars.
The survey aimed to understand the conditions and functionality of RWH in metro while also trying to assess the preparedness of metro pillars to harvest the upcoming monsoon rains. After the preliminary survey, the team, which also comprised eight college students, held a discussion for identification of errors and finalised draft indicators. After this, they worked with revised indicators and found out the issues with the pits.
The BMRCL has built 3,000 litre-capacity underground tanks on both sides of every second metro pillar between MG Road and Baiyyappanahalli metro stations. There are also inbuilt pipes which carry the rainwater from the duct to the tanks on the medians. There are a total of 50 RWH pits between the four stations. The surveyors identified eight broken pipes while four smaller pits (adjacent to the pillar) were clogged. Further, seven such pits were also filled with trash making it difficult for water collection. “Five water storage tanks were broken and 14 lids of water tanks covers were not in place,” the report says.
Several other issues like non-uniform placement of pits between stations, overflowing pits due to the hardening of soil and water being discharged on road dividers which ran into the roads and then into local drains, were identified.
ActionAid has recommended measures like covering smaller pits with 3×3 steel mesh to prevent trashing and clogging, conducting annual rainwater audit harvests and others for better RWH systems. It has also written to BMRCL about the findings and recommendations from the survey.
When contacted, B.L. Yashwanth Chavan, spokesperson, BMRCL, said: “We are still awaiting the report. We will only be able to speak after that”.