Petition – Rainwater Harvesting

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Yesterday, I launched a petition to our Chief Minister and Dy. Chief Minister, Delhi, to take up rain water harvesting as number one priority. Just open the link below.

https://www.change.org/p/chief-minister-delhi-other-decision-makers-and-fellow-delhiites-let-s-take-up-water-harvesting-as-topmost-priority-in-delhi?recruiter=287954621&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Keeping in mind the terrible hardships and anxiety we Delhiites went through and continue to suffer post damage by the protesters to the Munak Canal, this matter can no longer be pushed under the carpet. Unless we build alternative sources of water, Delhi will turn into another Hiroshima one day. I got the hint today when stinking water gushed out of my tap and after just one hour, the supply was cut off completely.

Dear Friends, please join me in this petition by signing it and asking your friends to sign it too.  It’s a matter of everyone’s survival.

Latest status as on 10 April 2016

On 10 April 2016, a small report appeared somewhere deep inside the Hindustan Times (Delhi edition, 10 April 2016). It was regarding steps being taken by the Delhi Government to implement rainwater harvesting.

URL: Link: http://paper.hindustantimes.com/epaper/viewer.aspx#

Just in case the link doesn’t open, the text of the report is given below.

“NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is going to make rainwater harvesting mandatory from July.

According to a senior Delhi Jal Board official, any plot or building having 500 square metre area or above will have to make arrangements for rainwater harvesting on their premises. If residents, who fall under this criteria, don’t implement the rain water harvesting then their water bills will be hiked 1.5 times after July 1.

“We are making rain water harvesting mandatory in the city. We have given time to make arrangements till June 30. Penalty will be imposed after July 1,” Delhi water minister Kapil Mishra said on Saturday.

The government has also decided to give incentives to people taking up rainwater harvesting.

“Earlier, we were offering 10% incentive of the cost on RWH at the plots of 2,000 square metre and above. Now we have included plots having 500 square metre area and above,” Mishra said.

Keeping in mind water conservation, last month during Delhi budget, finance minister Manish Sisodia had announced a comprehensive rainwater harvesting scheme, water-bodies revival policy and summer action plan.”

 

It made me very happy.  A journey, after all, always begins with a few steps.

 

 

 

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For Better or Worse

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As Monday, the first day of the week, unfolded its blue petals in my office today, I felt depressed and disappointed. The Jat protesters in Haryana have finally got what they were demanding since 1997. But I wonder if anyone of them spared a thought for even one moment for the huge losses that the nation has undergone during last 5 days and those young men selflessly sacrificing their lives in J&K and on the borders.

So many precious human lives and both public and private property worth several crores of Rupees have been turned into ashes. Several Sikh friends of mine felt bitter and said it reminded them of what they went through during the November 1984 riots. Was it all worth it? Certainly not. People who killed, burnt, and looted are criminals. They should be treated as traitors, similar to those shouting slogans against the country. But sadly, not even one such person has been caught and brought to court.

Our water supply in Delhi remains cut off today. Press reports say that Munak Canal, the main source of water supply, has also been damaged by the mobs and it will take them some time to complete the necessary repairs.

With bated breaths we watch quietly and passively while the public services limp back into action. Our politicians and all other decision makers have a tough job ahead. They need to strengthen security and stop pandering to populist sentiments such as caste-based reservations which weaken the nation from within.

As per media reports, Congress leader in Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is at present sitting on hunger strike to maintain peace while the ‘inexperienced’ BJP government scrambles to resolve the crisis . But in 2005, the same Hooda had won state elections in Haryana with his electoral promise of reservation for Jats.

Something is seriously wrong somewhere. Tomorrow another community will demand reservation and this process will never stop. The root cause of this evil needs to be identified and deleted like a computer virus. The most obvious reason is that agriculture is no longer profitable enough and majority of employable people find it hard to find secure jobs.

The general public too needs to stay united and guard itself against traitors like Afzal Guru who, for something as shallow as money, surreptitiously invite enemies from outside to create chaos and attack our country.

I felt so terrible and helpless today that for the first time in my career, I walked to a park nearby during office hours and I stood there for a few minutes. The birds, the lovely flowers, the green foliage, a patch of water, and a bird’s nest on a tree cheered me and were enough to give me the strength to go on…I clicked some pics too to keep myself buoyed just in case I start feeling depressed again. These are given here, top and bottom.

I was reminded of what one trainer told us during a training session, “Never get upset about things that you can’t control.”

Feeling better, I came back to my seat, ready for the new challenges. For better or worse, this is my country too, after all!

 

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Spring in Delhi, 2016

Photos: Jasbir Chatterjee

 

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Thank God, Spring 2016 is on time in Delhi. That too, as per the usual pattern, soft, soothing, balmy, slightly windy at times, and of course, flowery, with clear, blue skies. Not like the preceding season of winter, which was quite whimsical and absent-minded this time, thanks to the global warming.

Wherever you are in Delhi, you will find love, beauty, and a riot of colors everywhere. The mating birds, new nests coming up, the evergreen bougainvillea, and the short-lived Semal are all part and parcel of this lovely, miraculous season.

The magenta-colored wild flowers with little threads, I still don’t know their name, can be seen in full bloom all over the pavements and road dividers these days. They were there in summer too, but their number seems to have increased. I remember quite clearly that 2 years ago many of these places were bare and dusty and often one would find drug addicts and beggars sprawled here in a very filthy condition. I like to think that it is because of Kejriwal and AAP. In some respects at least, they seem to be working quietly and determinedly…

Anway, friends, I guess it’s better to stay away from the gutter of politics and look at the world around us with the eyes of an artist; Let’s enjoy the season of spring as Tagore would have, had he been still alive; eat, pray, dance, sing, fall in love, or whatever that catches our wild fancies…Spring 2016 is not going to be here for too long…

Take a look at these pics that I clicked on Valentine’s Day eve till 16 Feb.16.

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