Bhubaneswar: Reaching a significant milestone in “Catch the Rain” Campaign, the Housing & Urban Development Department has been able to construct 10,000 Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) across Odisha in a record span of 75 days under the state’s flagship Scheme, MUKTA.
The H&UD Department had launched a State-wide campaign on the theme “Catch the Rain: Where it Falls and When it Falls” across all the 114 Urban Local Bodies of the State under “Mukhya Mantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan” MUKTA Programme.
The campaign started on the 15th of April 2021 with the objective of constructing at least 5,000 Rainwater Harvesting Structures (RWHS) to facilitate in-situ water conservation and groundwater recharge in 114 towns of Odisha before the onset of south-west monsoon.
The campaign had been taken up in a Mission mode under the leadership of Principal Secretary of H&UD Department, G. Mathivathanan, to achieve the intended outcomes within the timeframe.
A community driven approach had been adopted for field execution and to make it a success on the ground. Involvement of Community Based Organisations (CBO) such as Mission Shakti Groups had been accorded the highest priority in the execution process by engaging them as Implementing Agency.
So far, the journey of “Catch the Rain” campaign has been highly rewarding with overwhelming support from the ground. As a result, the Department has been able to achieve more than 10,000 RWHS constructed in the urban pockets of the State within a record time, i.e, a span of two months.
All these 10,000 RWHS are of low-cost structures specially designed based on hydro-geological parameters prevailing in the State. Looking at the success and acceptance by the urban community of the State, H&UD Department has taken a decision to construct 10,000 more RWHS across potential ULBs located in western, northern, and southern parts of Odisha.
Journey of RWHS So Far
- Rainwater Harvesting Structures in all the 2035 Wards across 114 ULBs of the State has been Planned
- Around 15,000 Sites selected so far, 14,600 Plans&Estimates amounting 70 crores prepared, and 14,000 Work Orders issued
- 10,176 RWHS completed So far and expected to achieve the figure of 12,000 by 10th July 2021
- 7,698 MSG & SDA Groups have been engaged as Implementing Agency to drive the Campaign
Odisha, located in the eastern coast of India is considered a water surplus State. Rainfall is the main source of water in Odisha that varies from 1200 mm to 1800 mm across the State.
Though the average rainfall in Odisha is measured as 1400 mm., its spatial distribution is uneven and erratic. Odisha receives about 76% of rainfall between the period of mid-June and mid-September and receives the remaining 24% of the rainfall throughout the year.
The State is broadly divided into two agro-climatic zones, i.e., coastal region and highland region. Some parts of the highland regions are rain shadow regions of the State. Therefore, there is ample scope to arrest the surface runoff where it falls using contour techniques.
The best possible option is to tap the runoff through construction of Rainwater Harvesting Structures, thereby addressing the key challenge of water scarcity in urban areas of the State.
To augment water conservation and groundwater recharge, the Department had taken a decision to get Rainwater Harvesting Structures (RWHS) constructed in all the 2035 wards across 114 ULBs of the State on a mission mode before the onset of south-west Monsoon.
This initiative has been taken under “Mukhya Mantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan (MUKTA/UWEI)”, a regular scheme to provide wage employment opportunities for the poor and needy people staying in urban areas of the State.
The RWHS are being constructed in parks, playgrounds, open spaces and in vacant lands inside the institutions available in all the ULBs as per technical feasibility and space availability.
To facilitate smooth execution of RWHS, a State level Task force consisting of senior officials, engineers and consultants has been set up under the direct supervision of the Principal Secretary. Series of orientation programme on management and technical aspects of RWHS have been imparted to ULB officials, engineers and professionals involved in the implementation of MUKTA.
To ensure transparency and accountability measures, H&UD Department has issued an advisory indicating various strategies including third-party verification of RWHS. The Department has issued a toolkit to guide the in-house technical resources for conducting third-party verification of 100 % RWHS at the ground.
To further strengthen transparency and accountability measures, the Department has decided to introduce Social Audit as a tool for performance improvement and outcome measurement on a pilot basis.
Engagement of Mission Shakti Groups in the ongoing MUKTA initiative of the H&UD Department has been accorded the highest priority. The RWHS projects are being executed through Mission Shakti Groups/Federation and Slum Dwellers Association at the ground as Implementing Agencies. This would result in capacity building and empowerment of SHGs created under Mission Shaktiacross the State.
H&UD Minister Pratap Jena has congratulated the department on this achievement. Expressing his happiness, Jena has told that H&UD Department has achieved a significant milestone in “Catch the Rain” campaign by completing 10 thousand RWHS in 114 ULBs across Odisha in a record span of 75 days. It has also been decided that an additional 10 thousand RWHS be constructed in water-stressed ULBs in Western, Northern, and Sothern parts of the State, he added.