Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Residents at buildersmercy

Residents at buildersmercy
By Satish Shile
Residents of apartments in erstwhile CMC wards are being taken for a ride by builders, who are collecting exorbitant amount as fees for new BWSSB connections...

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has offered to provide Cauvery water for residents of the 72 wards that come under the erstwhile CMCs. Builders of apartment complexes within the limits of these wards have already started collecting charges from occupants for BWS SB connections. However, the charges they are demanding from occupants are exorbitant, when compared to the actual rates fixed by the board.
Residents of an apartment complex in Kodic hikkanahalli (Bommanahalli CMC), on condition of anonymity, told Deccan Herald that the builder has been demanding Rs 65 per sq ft to provide the BWSSB connections.
One of the residents said he lives in an apartment with a total area of around 1,600 sqft and the charge to get the BWSSB connection to his residence would be around Rs 1.04 lakh! However, BWSSB officers said that total charges to get the connection would not cross Rs 30 per sq ft which works out to Rs 48,000.
The State Government had taken up the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Project to provide Cauvery water for erstwhile CMC areas. The government had fixed the amount of contribution from beneficiaries with respect to the area of the building. The last date to pay the contribution was July 31, 2005, and those who did not pay within the deadline have been asked to pay a fine.
Apart from the contribution, residents of apartment complexes have to pay pro-rata charges fixed by the BWSSB. The board is providing water connection and sanitation line facilities. For both facilities, residents have to pay a fee at the rate of Rs 80 per sq m each. Besides, the board collects inspection char ges (Rs 2,500 per building), charge for sanitation points (wash basin, bathroom) three months minimum in advance and metre charges. The metre charges depend on the distance from the connecting pipel ine, number of apar tments in a complex and diameter of the supplying pipe. The amount will have to be shared by the occupants.
For an apartment with a total area of 1,200 sq ft, the total charge to get the BWSSB connection will be Rs 29,151 (excluding metre charges) and that amounts to Rs 24.29 per sq ft (see box). Inclusive of the meter charges, the rate will only cross Rs 28 per sq ft. There are, however, cases where builders are demanding more than double the actual rates.
A senior BWSSB engineer said, “Going by the rates fixed by the board, the actual rate will not go more than Rs 28 per sq ft. There are builders who take the occupants for a ride. They collect exorbitant charges stating that they have to bribe BWSSB staff. Residents are better off getting connections through their associations, instead of depending on the builders.”


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