33 States/ UTs adopt rainwater harvesting feature under Model Building Bye Laws, 2016

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By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi

Adequate focus has been given on requirement of rainwater harvesting (RWH) and water conservation measures in Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL) of Delhi, 2016, Model Building Bye Laws (MBBL), 2016 and Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines, 2014, formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) for adoption by the States /Union Territories (UTs) suiting their local conditions. As per MBBL, “all buildings having a plot size of 100 sq.m. or more, while submitting the building plans for sanction, shall mandatorily include the complete proposal of rainwater harvesting”. This feature has been adopted by 33 States/ UTs.

Urban Development is a State subject, as such MoHUA does not conduct any survey in water harvesting.  It is for the States to implement the provisions under Building Bye Laws.

Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) had launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) in 2019 to spread awareness on water conservation and undertake various activities related to RWH throughout the country. MoHUA had actively participated in JSA through extensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities on water conservation in water stressed cities across the country. The activities promulgated for water conservation mainly included RWH, reuse of treated waste water, rejuvenation of water bodies and intensive plantation drives for which detailed guidelines have been issued by the Ministry.

Apart from JSA, ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign is under implementation to educate the people regarding water harvesting. The campaign, which was launched on 22 March, 2021 by MoJS, works on the principle of “Catch the Rain where it falls and when it falls”. Under this campaign, drives to make check dams, water harvesting pits, rooftop RWH Structures etc., removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity, removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas etc., repairs to step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and unused wells to put water back to aquifers etc. are being undertaken with the active participation of people. Further, Urban Local Bodies have been advised to lead campaign for tree plantations.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Kaushal Kishore, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 5th August 2021.

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