Friday, November 30, 2007


TOI correspondents Ashwini Y S, Bansy Kalappa and Chandrashekar G visit Water Adalats at three CMCs and get a fix on people’s problems

It has taken over three years for the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to come to this stage. On Thursday, board officials connected with consumers of 72 wards in erstwhile 7 CMCs to explain to them the procedural formalities to get a water connection.
Adalats are being conducted in phases, and on Thursday officials touched upon a few wards which will be supplied water in December in Phase-1.
Adalats were conducted in wards 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31, where nearly 400 applications were distributed. So far, BWSSB has laid around 8,200 connections. Individual houses will be connected to main lines once sanctions are given.
B Narendra Baliga of Arsikere complained that he and the other residents of the area had paid the user fee before April 30, 2004. “BWSSB would have accrued interest all these years but we are at the losing end, not receiving water in these months. We have shelled out an additional Rs 1,500 every month to get water from tankers. I’m still not sure if we’ll get water,’’ he said.
In April 2004, residents were told about the scheme and the user fee. Last year too they were told that water would be supplied in 15 days when the connections were being laid. To date, there is no sign of water, said Shantaram.
Residents of Samrat Layout on Bannerghatta Road are worried. “We thought water would be supplied in the first phase. But nothing has happened. Wonder how much longer we have to wait,’’ said Raghupathi Rao, secretary of the Residents Welfare Association
The adalat was conducted in wards 1, 2, 10, 12 and 14, wherein 130 consumers availed of applications. K N Doreswamy, president, residents’ welfare association of AECS Layout, said, “We pay about about Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per home for water. We expect it to come down by about Rs 250-300 once the scheme is implemented.’’
Rajalakshmi, a resident of Gurumurthyreddy Layout, pointed out that several women will be thankful to BWSSB if Cauvery water was supplied to homes.
“It would put an end street brawls while collecting water. We have paid connection charges for Cauvery water in 2004 and been waiting for water supply ever since. Officials have been giving us hope every time. Only time can tell whether BWSSB will stick to its word.’’
Jagannath, a resident of Devasandra, said the adalats should have been organized on a Sunday. He also said a major portion of his salary went towards purchase of water, something he hopes will change soon.
The adalats were conducted in ward numbers 6,9,10,11 and 16. Around 350 applications were distributed to the public. BWSSB has provided 400 connections.
Varadaraj, a resident of Ramamurthynagar, said, “We have a borewell connection for our house. Once Cauvery water supply begins, will the borewells become defunct?’’ was his apprehension.
However, officials clarified that individual private borewells will not be touched. Even the bulk water supply schemes and erstwhile CMC borewells would be retained as supplementary water supply.
Rama Rao, a resident of Devasandra, said fetching water from public taps after standing in serpentine queues every day was a difficult task. “Each house in this locality has been paying Rs 1,600 to 1,800 per month. We don’t mind paying initial deposits to get water in our taps.’’
In the past two days, demand for drinking water has risen so much that water supply operators in and around the city are spending extra time attending to calls. Mohammed Suhail of M S Water Supply said that he received at least 20 to 30 calls extra on Wednesday and Thursday. “We usually supply water to Bannerghatta and Madivala areas. Over the past two days, calls have been coming in from Rajajinagar, Vijaynagar, M G Road and Peenya. It is not possible for us to supply water to these areas as we cannot cover the distance in this traffic.’’ Ashok of Revathy Water Supply was even busier day by couldn’t supply water. “I received over 100 calls. To my bad luck, there’s been no electricity all day, and I haven’t even been able to supply water to my regular customers. Yesterday, I supplied water to people in other areas also,’’ he said.
“Can we have bilingual forms because over 60% of the city’s residents cannot read Kannada?’’ This summed up the sentiment at the BWSSB’s Water Adalat where forms only in Kannada were distributed. In Mahadevapura, residents said they preferred English or bilingual forms. K Varadarajan, president of Maheshwarinagar Residents Welfare Association, Mahadevpura, said, “Many find it difficult to know what is written. They are welcome to print bilingual forms. Many don’t know what to do with the forms.’’ K Varadarajan’s neighbours T R Vasudevan and Muthukumar cannot read what is written in Kannada and are forced to seek an interpreter’s assistance.
Fill in the free application form distributed by BWSSB Attach documents — 3 copies of building plan sanction or rough plan; tax paid receipt; address proof; receipt of user fee if paid Cash payment of Rs 1,740 as connection charge Additional charges in form of fine if user fee not paid as on August 2005 Rain water harvesting (RWH) documents to be produced if site dimension is above 1,200 sqft Submit at respective BWSSB office Road cutting charges exempted BWSSB officials will inspect the house and then sanction water supply
Meter fee Rs 550 Inspection charge Rs 250 3 months minimum deposit Rs 315 Fixing charge Rs 25. Sanitation charge Rs 600 Pro-rata charges are added for apartments and houses with two floors and more
When will water be supplied? Within 15 days after approval of applications
How to obtain connection to slum areas? Slum dwellers have to pay only meter charge of Rs 550 (for 600 sqft).
Why penalty for delayed payment when water is being supplied only now? Penalties have been levied as per revised government order of July 2005.
Is there a provision for payment of penalty in instalments? It can be paid in 24 instalments. Penalty to be calculated from August 2005 to December 2007.
Will water be supplied for commercial purposes? Initially water will be provided for domestic purposes, after which water will be supplied for commercial purposes.


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