Following a Lok Adalat order, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has, at last, plugged the water leakage by laying new pipelines at Victoria Hospital, Vani Vilas Hospital, Minto Hospital, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, K C General Hospital and Gousia Hospital. This has helped the hospitals to save on the water bills. Water bills ran that up to Rs 75 lakh for every hospital, is now about Rs 10 lakh or even less.
During the hearing of a matter on Bellandur lake pollution on January, 20 2009, the hospital authorities submitted that they were paying more than Rs 75 lakh each as water bill, which surprised the bench headed Justice K L Manjunath and member Yelappa Reddy. The bench directed the authorities concerned for an inspection.
After a joint inspection by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and hospital authorities, a proposal was made to replace the 150 mm and 100 mm diameter pipes in these hospital premises.
Bangalore Medical College (BMC) Superintendent G T Subhash said that not only water wastage has been checked but also bills have come down drastically. “Our bills are now below Rs 10 lakh, while it used to be three to four times higher earlier,” he said.
He further said that the pipelines were laid before 1940. Wastage was high as they were corroded. “To add to this the BWSSB was charging us commercial rates for the water. But following the adalat directions they are now charging domestic rates,” he added. Vasudevan, a City-based advocate on whose initiative, the PIL was heard said new pipelines were laid at a cost of Rs 20 crore and the drinking water pipeline has been separated from the nonpotable one.
According to the submission by the BWSSB, between January 2009 - September 2009 Bowring Hospital alone consumed water between between 44,023,000 litres (January) and 14,514,000 (September 2009). Post-replacement, there is a steep decline in water consumption which was between 3,104,900 litres (Jan 2010) and 9,914,000 (September 2010).
In Victoria hospital, the water consumption was recorded at 49,535,000 litres in March 2009 and 51,187,000 litres in September, 2009. However, now the consumption has come down to 28,660,000 in September 2010. The hospitals will soon be submitting an affidavit to the Adalat in this regard.