Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cauvery water supply eludes new areas The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

<cite>The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Cauvery water supply eludes new areas</cite>: "
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on December 3 had launched with great fanfare its scheme to provide 100 million litres of Cauvery water every day to newly added areas of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).But till now, the board has been unable to supply water as people in the 72 wards do not seem enthusiastic about paying up the beneficiary capital contribution and the hefty penalties that come with it.
We cannot supply water to only one house on a street. If we turn the valve open, then water becomes available for every house on that street, leading to unauthorised water connections,” a senior official at the board told The Hindu.

Apparently, the board did not have any mechanism in place to ensure that water reached only those who paid up. As a result, even those who paid Rs. 10,000, when contributions were collected in 2005 for a 1,200 sq ft site have not received the coveted water supply.

The poor response to the new water connections had to do with huge penalties imposed on those who did not pay the beneficiary capital contribution by July 31, 2005, the deadline set by the State Government.

In case, money was not paid by then, penalties of at least Rs. 2,700, Rs. 5,400 or Rs. 8,100, depending on the site dimensions, will have to be paid. The board says it cannot waive off penalties as it is according to State Government orders and only the latter can take a call on it.

At a protest by Lok Paritran and residents of various localities in Mahadevapura zone on Wednesday, people questioned the logic of penalties imposed. M.V. George, a resident of Kuvempunagar said, “Why should I pay a fine amount when the service has not been provided still?”

H.R. Gopalkrishna, resident of Pai Layout, said that the manner of collecting fines and capital contribution was not fair. “They are charging the contribution based on the dimensions of the site. If I have a 1,300 sq ft house, then I have to pay the same amount that someone with a site as big as 2,400 sq ft”

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