From plumbers: Is Bengaluru’s RWH law working?

With the city’s growing water woes, rainwater harvesting has come into focus time and again. It was also made compulsory in Bangalore by law.

The BWSSB (Amendment) Act passed in August 2009, states that every owner or occupier of a building having a sital area of 2,400 sqft and above, or every owner who proposes to construct a building on a sital area of 1,200 sqft and above, should install rainwater harvesting structures.

Following the law and various awareness exercises conducted in the city, it appears that RWH installation pace has picked up much more compared to earlier years. The people who are where the rubber really hits the road are the plumbers.

This is a short four-minute citizen-shot video of one conversation with an experienced Bengaluru plumber, Pradeep Kumar. Listen to his on-the-ground perspective on RWH, the law and Bangalore.

Kumar is from Orissa who has been working in Bangalore for seven years now. He says that the rainwater harvesting projects have increased greatly from the last two years, which proves that the law has kicked in and people are aware of it. “I get around 100 small RWH projects and two to three big RWH projects every month. I also get maintenance calls – typically to clean the filter”, he says.

Pradeep makes one more interesting point. He feels the unreliability of BWSSB or Cauvery water even in areas with water connections is driving up the interest in RWH installations. Kumar feels everyone should practice RWH to cut down on the dependency on piped water.

When asked about where people usually store rainwater, he says, ”They either store it in a tank and use it directly or recharge it using a recharge well of about 20 feet deep”.

Installing a Rainwater harvesting system ranges anywhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 depending on the size of the pipe and area he says.

Kumar’s team comprises 30 people and he adds, “There are easily thousand other plumbers who do this like us”, in Bengaluru.

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About Avinash Krishnamurthy 3 Articles
Avinash Krishnamurthy is Chief Project Officer at S3IDF, and Director at Biome Environmental Trust.