Monday, February 22, 2010

BWSSB to keep iron grip on water pilferers

BWSSB amendment 2009 promises...stricter action...
BWSSB to keep iron grip on water pilferers

First Published : 25 Oct 2009 05:02:00 AM
Last Updated : 25 Oct 2009 03:20:13 PM IST

Water pilferers will have to reform themselves if they are to avoid going to jail as Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is in the process of getting a bill enacted in this regard.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Laws Amendment Bill 2009, which has been drafted by the BWSSB, has already got the State Cabinet’s approval and is expected to be introduced in the state legislature very soon. The bill aims to modify BWSSB Act 1964 and give more power to BWSSB.

Those indulging in water theft and water meter tampering face the risk of paying heavy penalties and being imprisoned for three years. BWSSB’s employees and plumbers who connive with the water pilferers also face the same punishment. If any other norm is violated the offender faces the risk of going to jail for six months and paying Rs 5,000 fine.

Those who do not pay the pro rata charges as levied by BWSSB within the stipulated time will have to pay 25 per cent of the pro rata charges extra in addition to the penalties imposed.

The bill prohibits constructions by private parties in BWSSB’s lands and only at a distance of 1.5 meters from its pipelines.

The bill has recommended heavy penalties for the trespassing on prohibited areas, failure to maintain water connection in a proper condition, occupying a house without proper water connection, using the water that is drawn from a domestic connection for non-domestic purposes, engaging an unlicensed plumber to take a water connection, wasting or misusing water, polluting water flow, wilful negligence near water works, constructing houses without drains and connecting to sewer lines without taking permission.

BWSSB is taking various innovative and modern measures like installing water flow check meters and GIS mapping of its connections to track the water pilferers.

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