RWH: Rs 2.93 cr/month collected in penalties

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The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is collecting Rs 2.93 crore every month in penalties from offenders for not harvesting rainwater.

Latest data shows there are more than 64,000 offenders in the city, who are willing to pay a penalty, but do not want to harvest rainwater. As per the rule, the civic body gives three months time after providing water supply for new houses to implement RWH.

From February 2017, the BWSSB has been imposing a penalty of 50% of water bills for domestic consumers for not practicing rainwater harvesting. The fine goes up to 100% for commercial establishments.

The number of offenders, however, is still high even two years after the introduction of the penalty. According to officials, the problem shows the lack of water literacy among citizens. “After imposing the penalty on water bills, few establishments took it seriously and installed RWH,” BWSSB public relations officer Manjunath told DH.

As per the data released by the BWSSB, as on May 2019, there are 1,18,748 rainwater harvesting connections in the city.

According to BWSSB (amended) Act 2009, Section 72-A, rainwater harvesting systems are compulsory from 2009 for all buildings measuring 1,200 sq ft and above. Buildings constructed before 2009 measuring 2,400 sq ft and above should have the facility too.

It’s applicable for both commercial and domestic establishments. Penalties can be imposed by the board if the rules are not followed.

Manjunath said the penalty will continue till the establishments adopt rainwater harvesting. “There is a need to embrace rainwater harvesting to reduce the dependency on Cauvery water,” he said.

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