With drastic fall in groundwater level, the rainwater harvesting funds remain unspent
It has been claimed that the 650 square km geographic area of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) receives an annual average rainfall of about 750 mm which is equal to 15.9 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) and if Rainwater Harvesting Structures (RWHS) are constructed at every possible place, about one third of this rainfall accounting for 5 tmc ft, could be comfortably harvested.
A reply to a RTI application revealed that that much of the amount collected for RWHS is not used in Andhra Pradesh for the purpose for which it is collected. The funds have either remained unspent or have been diverted. Vide the Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Trees Act 2002, (WALTA), the RWHS was made mandatory in urban areas as it was found to be an effective method for ground water recharging. Under section 17 of the WALTA, the Urban local bodies have been collecting charges from people for building these structures whenever building permissions are given or new water supply connections are released.
It has been revealed that the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board had collected Rs. 20.65 crore as RWHS charges between May 2005 and February 2012 but spent just Rs. 88.13 lakhs. As the usage of ground water is increasing, more and more colonies have reported drastic fall in ground water level and bore well failures.