Ashish Mathur flags off a campaign at Jubilee Park on Friday to mark World Water Day. (Bhola Prasad)
Parks and landmarks will soon join a unique conservation campaign to raise the plunging water table of the city and its outskirts.
In a fitting tribute to World Water Day, Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco on Friday announced that it would introduce bioswales — landscape elements designed to remove silt and contaminants from surface runoff water — at every park and residential complex from this year.
The sloped drainage course, which aims to treat rainwater, will be the first-of-its-kind in the state. The project was introduced at Bangalore International Airport last year.
Jusco’s town planning and engineering department, in collaboration with its horticultural wing, have already drawn up plans for introducing the system at Jubilee Park.
“Bioswale is a shallow depression created on the surface to channel and filter rainwater before it reaches a river. A swale uses natural means, including vegetation and soil, to treat the water by sieving contaminants. In a layman’s term, it is a natural water filter integrated into the landscape,” said a senior executive of Jusco associated with the project.
“A swale has gently sloped sides and is filled with vegetation or compost. The wide path is designed to maximise the time rainwater spends in the swale, which helps trap pollutants and silt,” he explained.
Jusco managing director Ashish Mathur, who flagged off an awareness drive at Jubilee Park to mark the special day, confirmed that construction of bioswales was part of their water conservation plans. “We will first introduce this unique rainwater harvesting and drainage system at Jubilee Park. Thereafter, we will landscape Nildih Park (Telco), Bhetya Park (Kadma) and other small parks across the city,” he said.
Bioswales will also line up lawns and joggers’ parks near apartments in the city.
Mathur said they would simultaneously kick off water recycling projects to boost the plunging water table. “We will introduce sewer water recycling structures at 54-odd apartments across the city. These will be mandatory at all upcoming residential projects of Jusco too,” he added.
This will be in addition to plans of installing rainwater harvesting systems at apartments housing a population of nearly 100,000.
“Jusco is also conducting water mapping of areas under its command and will making a comprehensive recycling plan based on the findings. We also plan to carry out massive awareness drives and distribute pamphlets on water conservation among households,” spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Sarayu Roy, who is also the patron of Jal Jagrukta Abhiyan, has announced a demonstration in front of Raj Bhavan on June 5 (World Environment Day) to protest against corruption in the bureaucracy, which he believes has led to adverse impact on environment and pollution of major water bodies in the state.