Thousands of illegal water, drainage connections found

Thousands of illegal water, drainage connections detected

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has unearthed thousands of illegal connections during a recent survey to plug leaks in water connections and underground drainage networks.

The illegal connections are financially bleeding the board at a time when it is piling up huge losses due to increased operational costs. The month-long survey has exposed illegal connections both in the core and newly added areas of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). 

Details from the BWSSB accessed by DH show that the board discovered 22,468 illegal water connections in all its divisions and 36,064 unapproved UGD connections. 

A senior BWSSB engineer said many households, including large apartment complexes and commercial units like paying guest hostels, have taken illegal connections and are discharging their sewage into the network without legally obtaining a connection. 

“In some of the outskirts areas, people have illegally taken connections by engaging local plumbers to carry out the work,” he said, adding that constant tracking and surprise checks by the vigilance team unearthed the illegal connections. 

No penalty

Though it is common to penalise the offenders, the BWSSB gave them an opportunity to regularise their connections. “It’s been more than a month since we discovered these connections. We asked them to regularise the connections. Yet not many have come forward to do it, despite the extension of the deadline by almost two months,” the engineer said. 

BWSSB chairperson N Jayaram said the board had snapped water connectivity to homes and apartments that had taken illegal connections.

“Few people came forward to regularise the connections, but some apartments and individual houses are reluctant and are getting water from private tankers. Our engineers have given them time till January. If they don’t comply with the rules, they may have to face the consequences,” he warned. 

Owners applying online to regularise their connections get the board’s sanction in two days instead of the usual 14 days and are charged pro rata rates. “They don’t come forward to regularise since they don’t want to pay pro rata charges and penalties,” the engineer said.