August 20 is new deadline to install rainwater harvesting units
After issuing notice to nearly 5,000 residents for not installing rainwater harvesting (RWH) units in their buildings, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is getting ready to start disconnecting their water supply and sanitation lines. Officials said the disconnection will start from August 20.
BWSSB, through an amendment in 2009, made RWH compulsory for all buildings on 60 ft x 40 ft sites. As many as 55,000 buildings in the city and 13,531 houses in newly added areas were identified. However, of these, only 46,500 have adopted the system so far.
While all new constructions on 30 ft x 40 ft sites should compulsorily adopt the system, existing houses on sites of this dimension are exempted.
BWSSB engineer-in-chief T. Venkataraju said there would be no leeway after August 20 for those who failed to comply with the rules. The board was legally empowered (under the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage [Rainwater Harvesting] [Amendment] Regulations 2011, which came into force from July 7, 2011) to cut off water and sanitary lines of those who did not adopt the system, he said
“Although we have given several deadlines to people for installing RWH, the response is not as expected,” he admitted. BWSSB would continue to issue notice to all those who have not installed the system. “We will give them a week’s time before disconnecting the lines,” he added.
The board had earlier announced incentives, including a 2 per cent property tax rebate for up to five years for those who adopt the system, and bank loans to install the units.
It has been threatening to disconnect supply from last year, but this time it looks like it’s serious after being pulled up by the Karnataka High Court recently for not supplying clean drinking water to the residents affected by groundwater contamination.