New rule on borewells sinks like a stone

Only 50 of the 1.72 lakh borewells in City registered with KGA

Two months have passed since the State government issued a notification, making registration of all borewells and permission for sinking of new borewells mandatory in the State. However, so far only 25 drilling agencies in the State and just over 80 households in the City have registered with the Karnataka Groundwater Authority (KGA).

The government notification called for compulsory registration under the Karnataka Groundwater (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2011, wherein every existing user of groundwater in the notified area has to register within a period of 120 days from December 3, 2012.

The Mines and Geology department that constituted the KGA does not have an estimated number of drilling agencies in the State. Till date, only 25 drilling agencies mainly from Bangalore and Kolar have registered with the KGA. According to sources in the department, many agencies are still unaware of the new regulations.

Most of the drilling agencies operating in Bangalore are from Tamil Nadu, who have assigned a person to take care of the operations here. The caretakers are unable to provide required data and documents, including the number of borewells they have sunk. Each agency has to submit an application form, address proof and details of all the borewells they have sunk and their capacity and a cheque or demand draft for Rs 5,000 payable to a particular account number in Canara Bank.

With regard to registration of individual borewells, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), the implementing authority, has received just over 80 registrations in the City.

As per the Board’s records, most applicants are from Bangalore East areas where 50 households have registered their existing borewells and over 30 of them have applied for permission to sink new ones. The BWSSB in its survey has found that there are over 1.72 lakh borewells in the City alone and less than one per cent of them are actually registered.

The main reasons for low registration are lack of awareness among the public and ignorance among the BWSSB staff. Recently, a resident who walked into one of the sub-division office of BWSSB was unable to register his borewell as the engineers in the office were unaware of the procedure.

T Venkataraju, engineer-in-chief, BWSSB, said that he was yet to be brief all the assistant executive engineers about their role in monitoring borewells in the City.
“We need to gear up to train our engineers about borewell registration procedure. We also need to create awareness among the public about the compulsory rule,” he added.

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