BWSSB plans squads to check pilferage

BWSSB plans squads to check pilferage

BWSSB plans squads to check pilferage

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has decided to set up two vigilance squads, ­– technical and police – to keep tabs on unauthorised connections and various other illegalities affecting its revenue generation.

The BWSSB, in its recent meeting, decided to form permanent squads to check unauthorised utilisation of water and thus plug revenue pilferage.

An officer of chief engineer rank will be appointed for the technical squad and while the police squad will be headed by an officer of the rank of superintendent of police.

The squads will take up complaints pertaining to water theft, illegal connections, meter tampering, variation in pro-rata charges and various other malpractices. The police squad will book criminal cases against offenders and take action as per the BWSSB Act.  

The decision was taken mainly in the wake of a major scam in the BWSSB’s Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project (GBWASP). Under the project, the Board collected beneficiary capital contribution (BCC) in 2005. 

In January 2014, the Board’s audit section found that two staff members siphoned off Rs 10 lakh by issuing fake bank acknowledgments to consumers in KR Puram. Suspecting more such cases, the Board has been conducing an audit of all the BCC payments since 2005.

A sum of Rs 687 crore has been collected towards BCC, including Sajala application forms, under the GBWASP. Sources said several crores may have been unaccounted for, affecting revenue generation for the Board. 

Lack of monitoring mechanism and outdated online updating system have left ample room for such irregularities in the process of providing new water connection.

In the newly added areas of the Palike, the Board has found that more than 60 per cent of water supplied is unaccounted for. The official said that nearly 40 per cent of the connections in KR Puram, Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli are unauthorised and nearly 20 per cent of water goes down the drain as the pipelines laid do not have a proper plugging mechanism.