No quarters asked and none given. That's the toughened stand of Water Board now. It has decided to show no mercy to consumers who have illegal water connections.
In its fight against the lawbreakers, the Water Board will not trust its own staff lest they have a soft corner for some consumers.
In a change of tack, it has resolved to take the help of external watchdogs to unearth illegal connections and take action.
The water board is in the process of recruiting 10 ex-servicemen, 30 home guards besides three military engineering service officers who have experience in water and sewerage.
The idea is that these retired personnel will have no local obligations and wouldn't mind acting tough against such illegal connections.
The Water Board has already written to the Sainik Welfare Board and the Commandant of Home Guards for sending their men. “They will be with us shortly,” said K. Ashok Reddy, executive director, HMWSSB.
The water board now has a lone Inspector, two police constables and seven home guards – hardly sufficient to keep watch on the city which has increased from 170 sq. km to 560 sq. km.
The number of water connections too have shot up from 4 lakh to 7.5 lakh, particularly in the municipalities skirting the city.
The water board had high hopes on the recently concluded voluntary disclosure scheme.
But it resulted in only 10,000 consumers coming forward to regularise their connections.
Authorities believe there are at least 50,000 more illegal connections which need to be regularised. Therefore, the plan to strengthen the vigilance wing.
Ex-servicemen have no axe to grind and they are expected to act firmly.
Their job will be to go after illegal connections, file cases and follow up wilful big defaulters.
Based on their report the water board might also initiate action against its delinquent filed staff.