BWSSB turns a blind eye to water theft

Many residents draw water from main lines using motor pumps
Last Updated 07 April 2014, 21:00 IST

 The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) seems to have turned a blind eye to illegal drawing of water from its main pipelines by many residents and apartment dwellers in Ashwini Layout of Ejipura and VGS Layout.

Some residents in these areas are illegally drawing water directly from the BWSSB’s main pipelines. They have linked their connections to motor pumps to draw water from the main lines.

Despite aggrieved residents complaining about the scarce supply for the past five months, the Board has only managed to issue notices to ‘32 violators’ and has not taken any action against them.

A resident of Ashwini Layout said a great number of residents, with the connivance of some BWSSB officers, were regularly drawing water through motor pumps. 

“Many of these motors are located inside the sump which makes it difficult even for the Board engineers to identify. What is even more annoying is that it is the educated class, who despite being aware of the City’s water problems, are involved in the illegalities. Though the Board officials are aware of the problem, they have turned a blind eye to it,” the resident said.

Around 50 residents of the area have written to the BWSSB chairman, engineers, the local MLA and Minister Ramalinga Reddy. Despite filing several RTI applications to get a clear picture of water supply in the area, they have only managed to gather documents, with no details on the action taken against the offenders.

“A BWSSB officer who had come to check the motor pumps, simply asked the owners to switch off the pumps, instead of seizing them. The BWSSB officers are not really interested in solving the problem,” another resident said. 

According to BWSSB’s Water Supply Sanctions and Regulations—no person shall fix, fit or use a hand pump or any self-acting apparatus or sanitary or other outfit on the water supply service pipe. The notices issued by the Board to these residents on March 24, 2014 state that the residents should remove the motor pump in the next three days. Else, they face imprisonment, with a fine of Rs 20,000.

BWSSB’s area executive engineer told Deccan Herald that they cannot just go around and remove the motor pumps as there are chances of backlash from the residents. He said the issue had to be handled cautiously. A second round of notices will be issued to these residents after the elections, he added.

(Published 07 April 2014, 21:00 IST)

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