Plumbers at sea on Cauvery connections

Some demand Rs 500, others do the job for free

Although Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) commissioned its ambitious project Cauvery IV stage II phase last week, in reality, it will take another 45 days to reach the new consumers. Reason: The Board is still in the process of cleaning the transmission and feeder lines in newly-added areas. 

With water reaching the ground water reservoirs in many places, new consumers are busy enabling their new connections with the help of plumbers.

Out of the 28,000 applications received, only 13,000 consumers have been sanctioned the new water connections with many finding it difficult to deal with the paperwork.

The primary complaint is that some registered plumbers of the BWSSB, entrusted with providing the connections, have been charging as much as Rs 500 to do the work while in other places, they have done the job for free.

When contacted, members of the Plumbers’ Association said they were confused about the issue. “As far as the plumbers’ work is concerned, they simply have to visit those houses where the consumer has submitted the proper application and demand draft. 

They have to inspect the place, show the house to the junior engineer of the area and get an approval from the area’s assistance engineer and assistant executive engineer,” said the member.

But, according to Sundari Swamy, a resident in Ramamurthynagar, the plumbers have demanded payment to fix the blue pipeline and the meter.

“The plumber told us that if we do not pay, he will delay fixing our pipelines. We do not mind paying the plumber who is helping us enable our water connections, but we want a receipt for our payment, which the plumber has refused to give,” she added.

An Association member, who supports payment, said that as there is much travelling involved in fixing a new connection, Rs 500 is a small amount to pay. He also said that the amount had been decided unanimously in a meeting with the engineer-in-chief of the Board.

“The Association has decided to issue receipts for any payments received. We are yet to formally decide and announce this,” the member added.

In KR Puram, however, legislator Nandish Reddy made it clear that consumers in his constituency will not make any payment to the plumbers. “I have over 50,000 consumers waiting for Cauvery water in my constituency. If they charge Rs 500 for every house, it will be a huge amount,” he said.

In a meeting with the Plumbers’ Association recently, Reddy demanded to know what the ‘scope of work’ of the plumbers is. “I have asked the plumbers to clearly mention the scope of their work, regarding new water connections. Based on their reply, an amount may be fixed. Plumbers will have to be accountable for the amount paid and a receipt will have to be issued by them for every payment,” he said.

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