To regulate exploitation of groundwater both in rural and urban areas, the State government has proposed to establish an exclusive directorate.
Minister for Urban Development and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) S. Suresh Kumar, who held a meeting with officials at the BWSSB office on Saturday, said there was a need to set up a directorate. “Another high-level meeting will be held on April 26 where a final decision on setting up the directorate will be taken. The directorate will function under the Department of Mines and Geology,” he said.
Rules for the Karnataka Groundwater (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Bill, 2011, which was passed in the Legislative Assembly in March last year, would be framed soon, the Minister said. Asserting that States such as Maharashtra, Punjab, New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, had already enacted a legislation to regulate exploitation of groundwater, the Minister said the rules would help in controlling exploitation of groundwater especially in the notified areas of the State.
The Minister said he was aware of the private water tanker mafia. “The new rules will ensure that people do not drill borewells indiscriminately. Tanker owners who run a water business will henceforth have to compulsorily maintain documents pertaining to the source of water, to whom it is supplied, at what cost and whether the water has been tested by the appropriate authority,” he said.
Deputy commissioners of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chickballapur, Kolar and Tumkur districts along with regional transport officers, police officers and officials from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the BWSSB would deliberate upon these issues at the proposed April 26 meeting, the Minister added.