City areas pay penalty for not installing rainwater harvesting

With the BWSSB planning on equitable distribution of water, which could see core areas of the city receive lesser water supply, house and commercial property owners, who have not yet installed rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems, could be in for trouble. According to figures, centrally located areas are the worst when it comes to adopting RWH systems as water supply is all but assured.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) made Rain Water Harvesting mandatory for homes and commercial establishments in the city to improve the water crunch situation. But sadly, there are only about 1,12,375 properties who have installed RWH since the past three years. Also, with the addition of 110 villages to the BWSSB program, saving water is an important aspect now to avoid water shortage. According to officials, most of the rainwater harvesting setups in houses are observed in the newly developing areas who receive less water supply compared to the other zones. Outlying areas in the south division like Kothanur, Anjanapura, Electronics City and Bommasandra have about 31,929 RWH establishments, whereas centrally located areas like Cox Town, Chikpet, R K Puram, ITC Colony and Cubbon Road have only about 2,690 RWH establishments.

“We have above 9 lakh 75 thousand connections and it is difficult to distribute an equal amount of water to everybody during a shortage. It is advisable to have an RWH at home to preserve rainwater and use it later,” said Kemparamaiah, Engineer In-Chief, BWSSB. Every structure built on 30X40 square feet and above and old buildings built on 40X60 Square Feet above should install Rainwater Harvesting as per a notification issued in 2016. People who fail to do so, pay a penalty every month. Domestic connections after six months have to pay an extra 50 per cent of their water bill amount and commercial establishments pay 100 per cent extra.

There about 70,884 connections who pay a penalty of `3 crore 35 lakh as fine every month instead of choosing to install RWH in their premises. Kemparamaiah said the department has been spreading awareness for quite some time now and have also constructed a Rain Water Harvesting Theme Park to help citizens understand how the whole thing works and its benefits. “It is time people make necessary provisions before the rains to collect sufficient water,” he added.

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