Water Board's daunting disconnection drive

Water Board's daunting disconnection drive

The BWSSB has managed to regularise only 7,000-odd unauthorised connections out of the over 48,000 illegal connections identified in the newly added BBMP areas during a recent drive.

The process of regularisation has become a tedious job for the board officials.

According to an official, the entire process of providing new water connections was not handled in a systematic way by the board officials.

Many residents have paid for water connections under the Greater Bangalore Water and Sewerage Project (GBWASP) some time in 2005 and have retained the receipts.

Now, when board officials have started providing connections, those residents who have paid are asked to submit photocopies of the receipt.

But either there is a delay from the consumer’s end or from the board officials in processing the applications. This is affecting the board’s auditing system as well.

According to a resident from Vijinapura, many people cannot afford to pay a huge amount to regularise their water connections as the GBWASP fees plus meter and other charges are adding up to a huge amount for them.

The resident said that when the Cauvery IV stage II phase was commissioned for the newly added areas, free water supply was provided by the board due to pressure by some local MLAs.

But now, the burden has fallen on the residents whose water connections have been snapped.

Another major problem both residents and BWSSB face are middlemen who are luring residents and demanding money to speed up the process of providing new water connections.

In many cases, the application forms and the demand draft payable to the board have gone missing.

This has resulted in the residents blaming the BWSSB for the mismanagement. Residents complain that those who have paid for the new connections are yet to receive water supply and those who have not are receiving free water supply. 

T Venkataraju, BWSSB engineer-in-chief, says that regularising unauthorised connections has become a very tedious job for the BWSSB officials as residents are not coming forward for it.

“We are disconnecting the illegal connections. But in some places, residents are not allowing our officials to do so. We have to convince the residents and give them a chance to regularise the connections,” he added.

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