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Updated: November 17, 2011 09:33 IST

Rainwater harvesting: deadline remains

Afshan Yasmeen
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Empowered with a rule that will enable the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to cut off water and sanitary connections to homes that don't adopt rainwater harvesting (RWH) by December 31, BWSSB officials are now making a last appeal to citizens to adopt the system.

Of the 55,000 buildings on sites measuring 60 ft x 40 ft that have to compulsorily install the units, 29,247 buildings have adopted the system so far. That apart, nearly 6,000 new buildings on 30 ft x 40 ft sites have complied. Existing houses on 30 ft x 40 ft sites are exempted.

Disconnection drive

“There will be no respite for citizens after the December 31 deadline. We will give a week's notice before disconnecting the lines,” Kemparamaiah, BWSSB Chief Engineer (Quality Assurance) toldThe Hinduon Wednesday.

According to a gazette notification published by the State Government on July 7, BWSSB can cut off water and sanitary connections to houses without RWH. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Rainwater Harvesting) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 have now come into force.

Although the Water Board has come up with attractive incentives such as a two per cent property tax rebate up to five years for those who adopt the system and bank loan facility for citizens to install the units, officials are worried over the poor response.

“We are doing our best to promote rainwater harvesting. Helpdesks have been set up at the BWSSB theme park in Jayanagar and technical assistance is being provided to set up the units. Yet the response has not been good,” Mr. Kemparamaiah said.

He said the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had on Wednesday confirmed to offer a two per cent rebate on property tax up to five years as an incentive.

“The poor response could be because most people don't want to make alterations in their existing buildings as they feel it could spoil the architecture of the house. This despite us providing all technical assistance,” the official said.

Sources said the fear of disconnection was only among the owners of houses located on smaller sites that don't have borewells. “Those who have houses on larger sites, either have borewells or can afford to buy tanker water. Probably that is why they are reluctant to adopt the system,” said a source.

Although the Government had earlier announced a May 27, 2010 deadline, it was extended to December 31.

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