Employees slam 'privatisation' moves by BWSSB

Employees slam 'privatisation' moves by BWSSB

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been “surreptitiously” privatising its certain operations by giving out long-term contracts, according to the BWSSB Employees’ Association.

Rudre Gowda, the president of the association, said that a majority of projects such as operation and maintenance of Cauvery IV Stage I Phase and II Phase, including water treatment plants and ground level reservoirs has been handed over to private companies on contract.

Even maintenance of sewage treatment plants and unaccounted for water (UFW) projects have been entrusted to private parties. Usually, the private companies are hired for one year while the board has been outsourcing the maintenance work for a period of five to seven years, according to the association.

The UFW project was taken up to plug water leakages in the City. The Rs 135-crore project has been awarded to a private company and the association members claimed that the board could have executed the work at half the estimated cost.

Gowda said that of the sanctioned 3,500 posts, around 1,250 vacancies had been filled till now. There have been no recruitment to the board since 2008. Most of the work is being executed by contract employees, he alleged.

The association will stage a hunger protest on January 30, condemning the “privatisation” of BWSSB.

However, BWSSB Chairperson M S Ravishankar said the appointments had been kept in abeyance on account of the proposed special quota for Hyderabad-Karnataka candidates. He said that the board has contracted work to private companies for a short period only and will take over maintenance once the regular employees were trained.

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