Monday , January 21 2019

Six months jail for stealing water in Bengaluru

BWSSB sets up a special squad to check an illegal water connection.

BWSSB staff disconnecting an illegal water connection in Bengaluru.

BENGALURU: All those who are guzzling Cauvery water illegally will have to either get the connection regularized by paying the penalty or land in jail for six months!

Yes, Bangalore Water Supply and the Sewerage Board (BWSSB) have set up a special squad which will be on rounds to control illegal connections. As a part of the drive, the squad will be visiting over 150 slums across the city.

Kemparamaiah, engineer-in-chief, BWSSB told Deccan Chronicle, “We do not have clear records on the unauthorized connections. For any city, the standard percentage of water loss stands at 20 percent which includes loss in the form of the leakage and theft.”

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While the board has taken up the measures to curb unaccounted for water (UFW) with the 700-crore project, aimed at reducing the leakage of water percentage from existing 46 percent to 16, the board had not taken any big step in rooting out illegal connections, which too account for the high UFW percentage. “We have set up a special squad team which will be on the rounds to keep a check on illegal connections. On the city outskirts and the newly added City Municipal and Town Municipal council areas, under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) we had laid the pipelines up to the doors of residents for which connections were given based on their requests,” Kemparamaiah said and added that, “It is from these pipes, water is being taken out illegally without meters.”

How will they operate?

He said usually, violators take one BWSSB connection fixed with a meter, then tweak the line to get another ‘bypass connection’, which will not be detected by the water meter. Other ways include tampering water meters, getting connection illegally from the main line, he added.

Kemparamaiah said, they have different methods of finding illegal connections, which includes gathering information from their officials and the general public.

He notified that BWSSB will not think twice to act upon our officials if they are found to be working hand-in-glove with the violators shielding them.

Our main target is connections which are exploiting the Cauvery water illegally for commercial purposes. But as part of the drive, the squad will visit slums too, he added.

As for taxing penalties,  Kemaparamaiah said, “Water demand of the illegal connection will be first taken into account. Based on this data, from the day of the crime, bill will be generated along with the penalty.”

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