Freeloaders wring BWSSB dry of revenue-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India: "he Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) does not have a clue about what happens to 315 million litres of water per day pumped from a distance of 98 km. For, 35% of the 900 MLD water being brought in to Bangalore is unaccounted for.
What’s worse, unauthorized water connections are increasing by the day and the board loses a minimum of Rs 42 lakh every month as a result.
With summer round the bend, the city is likely to grapple with a shortage of drinking water as pilferage and water leaks continue unabated. But BWSSB seems to be oblivious to these problems.
BWSSB supplies 900 MLD water to 5.2 lakh households in Bangalore, which earns it a revenue of nearly Rs 35 crore every month. However, 35% of the water supplied is unaccounted for, with over 35,000 households enjoying free water.
BWSSB officials said slums in the city have unauthorized water connections — there are 400 notified slums where 20% of the population resides. The main offenders are slums at Pillanna Garden, DJ Halli, Ejipura and Neelasandra.
The minimum slab of water bill is Rs 120 per month in the domestic sector, while the maximum slab is Rs 800. Thus, the loss incurred could be anywhere between Rs 42 lakh and Rs 2.8 crore per month.
“Of the 35% of unaccounted for water, 8-12% is due to unauthorized connections. The board has been trying to regularize water connections for many years, but with little success,’’ said officials. Since 1993 till date, around 50,000 connections have been regularized.
Now, slum-dwellers cannot get away with unauthorized water connections. From March 1, BWSSB has been sending circulars to all slum in Bangalore, which have metered water supply. “We’re giving consumers time till April 30 to regularize their connections.
If they don’t do the same within the stipulated time, a penalty of Rs 10,000 will be levied, apart from a six-month jail term,’’ officials added.
As per the Board Act, pilferaging can lead to both penalty and imprisonment or just penalty or imprisonment depending on the nature of the case.
Connection charges can be paid in two instalments. You can apply for connections by enclosing hakku patras issued by the BDA, slum clearance board and BBMP, along with any proof of residence, like ration card, election identity card, identity card issued by the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board along with the application.
Like every year, this summer too won’t be different, for BWSSB will face trouble in getting water pumped up to Bangalore from three stations — T K Halli, Harohalli and Tatguni. 910 MLD water is supplied every alternate day. But, come April, BWSSB too will be affected if there is a power problem. About 50 cycles of power is required every second, for water to be pumped properly. “Even if it comes down by a couple of cycles, then water will not get lifted. As a result, only about 700 MLD or 800 MLD water will reach Bangalore,’’ said another official.
Despite BWSSB having requested KPTC to rectify this problem during summer, it hasn’t been taken into consideration. Bangalore will also face double the shortage, if Bescom fails to supply power. ‘Lack of power supply in the city will hinder easy transfer of water from a ground-level reservoir to the other. It will become difficult to lift water during power crisis,’’ added the official.
However, severely affected areas will be supplied with water through tankers. This problem persists till mid-May.