Govt mulls doubling rainwater harvesting fine

Govt mulls doubling rainwater harvesting fine

Talking on the sidelines of the Bengaluru Water Conclave, BWSSB engineer-in-chief Kemparamaiah said the proposal had been sent to the government and would be shortly enforced.

Establishments not following the rainwater harvesting rule will soon have to cough up more penalty, as the BWSSB plans to increase the fine.

The board is already imposing hefty fines on violators, which it says not effective in making people abide by the rule.

Talking on the sidelines of the Bengaluru Water Conclave, BWSSB engineer-in-chief Kemparamaiah said the proposal had been sent to the government and would be shortly enforced.

According to the revised rates, domestic establishments should pay 100% and commercial connections should pay 200% as the penalty on the water bills. The existing fine is 50% for domestic and 100% for commercial establishments.

Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar expressed unhappiness over people’s negligence in practising the RWH. 

“To make people realise the importance of water, it should become as expensive as petrol. The BWSSB is collecting Rs 2.93 crore per month as a penalty from the offenders for not following the rule. This shows people are ready to pay the penalty but not practice RWH,” Bhaskar said.

As a step towards water conservation, the government is considering mandating the usage of aerators compulsory. "Shortly, the government will impose dual piping systems for future projects. This has already been implemented in a few parts of Bengaluru,” he added.

“Many establishments have diverted rainwater to borewells to show they are practising RWH. But this is not bringing down the demand for freshwater. People should use rainwater for other than drinking purpose like gardening, toilet cleaning, vehicles washing etc. Shortly, the storage tank will be made compulsory,” Bhaskar added.

According to the new rule, establishments for every square metre rooftop should arrange for storing 60 litres of rainwater. 

Landslide-prone areas

Talking about the Kodagu floods, Bhaskar said a survey was conducted in collaboration with the geology department to identify landslide-prone areas where constructions will be banned. "It has been decided to take up only afforestation in these areas."