Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meters for all illegal water connections in Bangalore

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Karnataka Government is proposing to install meters to all unauthorised water connections in slums and other localities in Bangalore City to regulate unaccounted supply of water.

Minister for BWSSB, Excise and Information Technology Biotechnology Katta Subramanya Naidu told journalists on Thursday that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has submitted a proposal to the government on installing meters to illegal connections.

BWSSB was constituted under the Act of legislature by a notification in 1964 for the supply of safe piped water for residents of the city and safe disposal of wastewater.

There are 85,000 unauthorised water connections in the city, particularly in slums. The urban poor have been drawing water supplied by the BWSSB through unauthorised connections, he said.

Asked when the meters would be installed, Mr. Naidu said a final decision would be taken after a meeting with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in a few days.

The BWSSB was planning to install meters at a free of cost. Unauthorised connections in slums and leaking pipes caused loss of revenue to the BWSSB. Out of 850 million litres of water a day supplied to the City, only 450 MLD had been accounted for billing, he said.

He said BWSSB has set up a Revenue Enforcement Cell under the direction supervision of the chairman of BWSSB to probe unauthorised connections that are causing huge losses to the board and to initiate legal action against the offenders.

The Cell would unearth illegal water connections in the city and help enhancing the revenue for BWSSB. The Board was expected to generate Rs. 100 crore more in this year, he said.

The cell inspected a building complex in Bhannerghatta Road on November 18 and unearthed a case of illegal connection that has been utilizing and water and sanitary facilities without paying charges to the Board, he said.

The ITC Knowledge Park building, which housed at No. 4/1 of Bhennerghatta Road in the city has four blocks. It had obtained water and sanitation facilities to its 'A' and 'B' blocs officially 2004, but 18964 sq.mts of the building was left out from the charges. The builders have extended these facilities to 'C' and 'D' blocks of 1,80,391 sq.mts without getting official permission and without paying the pro-rata fees. he cell has disconnected the illegal connection and has ordered the builders of Rs. 5.98 crore along with the fine, Mr. Naidu said.

He said the BWSSB Act, 1964 will be amended to make it more relevant to the city's needs. Changes will be made in the act to enable officials to impose penalty on people receiving water from illegal connections and prosecute them.

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