Monday, January 28, 2008

Tepid response to water scheme

Tepid response to water scheme
By S Lalitha, DH News Service, Bangalore:
The much-hyped JNNURM-funded 100 million litres a day (MLD) water supply scheme launched by the BWSSB has evoked poor response with only 5,000 out of the targeted 72,000 households in the newly-added BBMP zones opting for it.

Governor Rameshwar Thakur had turned on the taps on December 3 last to launch the project at K R Puram, but BWSSB officials are still desperately trying to convince the public to subscribe to the facility. Officials are now trying to garner clients through pamphlets and door-to-door canvassing in the 72 wards selected out of 225.
With borewell water available at a lesser price, people seem are reluctant to pay monthly water bills despite the Pollution Control Board certifying that water was contaminated. ”The public prefer drinking that than paying Rs 150–Rs 200 for Cauvery water,” a top official said.

Rate details

The rates depend on the dimensions of the site. Beneficiary capital contribution for a 30X40 site is Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000 for a 60X40 site, Rs 15,000 for a site above 60X40 and so on. The public however feels short-changed because of the penalty amount imposed for not applying for the connection within the deadline of July 31, 2005.
The BWSSB officials even attribute this as a reason for the poor response.

When calculated at a rate of Rs 100 to Rs 200 per month till December 2007, the amount works out to about Rs 2,900 to 5,800 and there are added costs of Rs 1,740 for house service connection and Rs 100 for fixing meters. One can make the payment through installments, though.

The BWSSB is also particular that all the houses in a street pay for the facility to prevent unauthorised connections. However during a spot check, residents had a bag of complaints to share with Deccan Herald.
Munikrishna, who resides at RHB Colony in Mahadevapura and has made the required payments said, “ The facility reached our door step two months ago but our meter has not been connected and water is not being supplied”

No connections

Latha a resident of Gayathri Layout at K R Puram is furious that despite the payment of Rs 10,000 two years ago, the water does not reach her house. Munisangappa, from the same area says, “Ninety per cent of my neighbours in our street have paid for water but yet to receive connections.”

Sulochana, a homemaker at Ayyappanagar’s argument is, “They have not even laid the pipes in the main road. I do not want to tie up Rs 10,000 without being convinced that work will begin.”


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