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Many consumers with RWH penalised this month due to BWSSB error

DH News Service Bengaluru Nov 14 2017, 1:36 IST
BWSSB consumer Varalakshmi penalised Rs 512 in the bill despite having RWH in her house.

BWSSB consumer Varalakshmi penalised Rs 512 in the bill despite having RWH in her house.

Over 9,000 consumers across the city have been penalised by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for not installing rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems though they had installed them many years ago.

The board's office in A Narayananapura, east sub-division, has received at least 25 complaints from consumers who have installed RWH structures but are still being penalised.

Varalakshmi Chandrababu, a resident of Doddanekundi near Marathahalli says that though they had adopted RWH 20 years ago, BWSSB has imposed a penalty of Rs 512 for this month.

"When the meter reader came to my house, I showed him the structure in which we were storing rainwater and the provision for water to percolate to the ground. The meter reader saw the structure, but still added the penalty saying that he has been instructed to do so," said Varalakshmi.

She said that though they were not required to implement these systems, they did it on own in order to have an alternative source of water. Moreover, the house is constructed on a 30X40 site and the RWH structure was installed even before BWSSB made it a rule, added Varalakshmi.

Reacting to complaints from consumers about the penalties, a BWSSB official admitted that tough a circular was earlier issued directing officials not to penalise houses in newly added areas for not installing RWH structures, this month, the board had been imposing penalties. Another official said this could be due to a technical error or oversight.

BWSSB's assistant executive engineer Basavaraju said that they have been receiving many complaints from consumers about being penalised unnecessarily this month. He said that if the consumer submits a representation along with the photograph of their house with the RWH structure, the penalty will be waived.

Box -
BWSSB imposes penalties to houses which have failed to install RWH structures on houses built on 60X40 sites and houses built on 30X40 site after 2009. The board first issues a notice and then imposes a fine of 25% of the bill amount for three months and then increases it to 50% if the owner has not installed the structure even after six months of getting the notice.

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