BWSSB unearths thousands of illegal water connections in three zones

Leakage and pilferage apart, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been struggling to regularize unauthorized water connections in the city.

Carrying out the Un-Accounted For Water (UFW) survey in the city's south, central and western divisions, the Board found 6,257 unauthorised connections in core areas that receive Cauvery water ever since the authorities began its supply in 1964.

It found 2,580 unauthorised connections in the central zone, 1,940 in the south zone and 1,737 in the west zone. Board engineers managed to regularize 1447 unauthorised connections in south and west zones.

BWSSB's engineer-in-chief Kemparamaiah blamed it on lack of public cooperation and interference of local leaders for the Board's inability to completely regularize water connections.

"Sometimes it becomes difficult for local engineers to regularize connections since consumers do not cooperate," he said. "Despite our efforts, consumers take local leader's help to defer regularization."

Nearly 600 FIRs have been filed so far against consumers who kept illegal water connections, the engineer-in-chief revealed, adding that BWSSB continues to face problems in regularizing connections in the newly added BBMP areas that received Cauvery water connection since 2012.

Majority of consumers in the old CMC areas who receive free Cauvery water supply for the past five years are reluctant to allow regularization, which would mean they have to pay for the water.

While the original target of the UFW exercise is to cut down wastage from 50% to 16%, BWSSB has managed only 27.90% in south, 29.19% in west and 32.84% in central division.

Besides unauthorized connections, malpractices in reading the meter is another reason why the Board is unable to reach its revenue targets, Kemparamaiah said.

BWSSB has spent Rs 570.63 crore on the UFW project to achieve 16% wastage in five years, the period for which it has awarded the project to the contractors.

On a positive note, the Board has managed to save 128.57 million litres of water in all the three zones.

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