Now, consuming borewell water will cost you more

Each household in a building to pay Rs 100 per month to BWSSB

Now, consuming borewell water will cost you more

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has started imposing separate ‘borewell charges’ on all households in a building who use borewell water.

However, the move, which would fetch the Board Rs three crore a month, has been opposed by a section of consumers.

Earlier, these charges (Rs 100 per a month) were paid only by the owner of a domestic connection. According to the latest decision, all households in the building will have to pay Rs 100 a month each. These charges were already included in the water bill from January this year.

According to BWSSB, there are about 2.20 lakh borewells belonging to residential and commercial entities in the City. About 60 percent of City’s residential population depends on borewell for water. 

The Board, therefore, has been imposing ‘sanitary charge for borewell’, stating that borewell water is then released to sanitary lines and sewage treatment plants (STP), which have been built and are being maintained at the BWSSB’s cost.

However, the Board has been criticised for failing to maintain the sewerage components and treat water before it is released into the lake. 

Deccan Herald had reported that the BWSSB treats only 16 percent of the total wastewater in the absence of proper underground drainage lines and well-equipped STPs. 

A senior BWSSB official said that during a surprise inspection in Ramamurthynagar, it was found that a 1,200 sq ft apartment with about 20 flats was paying Rs 100 as borewell charges, while the amount of wastewater discharged to the sanitary lines was high. 

There were many such instances as 65 percent of the Board’s revenue comes from non-domestic and partial non-domestic connections, while only 35 percent of the income came from domestic connections. 

Hence, it was decided to impose borewell charges on each household in the residential building, the official informed. 

S Narahari, executive engineer (Revenue, Billing and Collection), BWSSB, said the ‘borewell charge’ was not something new, but existed since 2012. “So far, the Board was levying these charges only on commercial establishments. This time, we have also included domestic connections,” he added. 

OppositionThe Board’s decision on borewell charges comes a few months after it hiked the water tariff. Opposing the move, Sudeendhra Rao, resident of Mahalakshmi Layout, said, “We received an additional charge of Rs 300 in the water bill, since our layout consists of four houses. The Board has done it without informing us.” 

Janardhan M of Basaveshwaranagar said he chose to dig a borewell due to intermittent water supply. “The Board should give priority to reduce unaccounted for w ater, which is almost half of the water supplied to the City,” he pointed out.
  

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