497 properties face action for letting sewage into SWDs

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has sent notices to 389 of the properties and is in the process of pulling up the remaining ones. (DH File Photo)

The BWSSB has initiated action against 497 properties, ranging from houses to business establishments, for letting sewage into storm water drains (SWDs).

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has sent notices to 389 of the properties and is in the process of pulling up the remaining ones. The board has also sent the details of the violators to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

The move comes in the wake of the National Green Tribunal’s direction to the state government to come up with a time-bound action plan to end the contamination of run-off rainwater in SWDs.

Several apartments, including Pebble Creak and Brooke Enclave on ITPL Main Road, Chaitanya Prestige Shantinikethan on Whitefield Main Road and Gopalan enclave on ECC Road, are on the list of violators.

Others were some educational institutions, including Shree Chaitanya Techno School in Mahalakshmi Layout, and several paying guest accommodations, most of them in Ambedkar Nagar.

BWSSB engineer in chief Kemparamaiah said the eastern part of the city tops the list with 276 properties breaking the rules. “We have served notices to them... we will send another round of notices. If we do not get a satisfactory reply, we will conduct mahazar and take necessary action,” he said.

Kemparamaiah said that till now, the board has been imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 but this time they were taking the opinion of the legal cell to initiate stricter action. “For those willing to comply with the rules, we will impose a penalty and ask them to get sewage connection. We will see whether we can take such property owners to the court. The KSPCB can file criminal cases against violators,” he said.

KSPCB member secretary Manoj Kumar said the regional officers have been instructed to hold personal hearings to give the violators a chance to explain themselves. “Action will be taken against large apartments if found guilty. We have to see whether individual houses come under our purview,” he said.

BWSSB officials noted that a majority of the violators were small houses and they will consult with the BBMP on the best way to move forward.

Reusing treated water

BWSSB chairman Tushar Girinath said they were chalking out a plan to make sure treated waste water is used for non-drinking purposes.

Apartments with less than 20 houses will be made to reuse water that is treated in larger apartments where sewage treatment plants are a must. "We will hold a consultation with all the stakeholders before finalising the plan," he said.

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