To check further exploitation of groundwater and also to keep a tab on those using groundwater for commercial purposes, the Department of Mines and Geology has made it mandatory for people to take permission from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to drill new borewells.

This apart, existing borewell users — both domestic and commercial — should register with BWSSB in the prescribed format by paying a fee.

Failure to comply can attract a penalty of up to Rs. 10,000 and/or imprisonment up to three years, according to BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief T. Venkataraju.

The new rules came into effect on December 3 after the government brought Bangalore Urban District under the ambit of Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act 2011.

Mr. Venkataraju said that following these new rules it is mandatory for all existing borewell users as well as those drilling new borewells or open wells to use groundwater in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits to register with BWSSB.

“BWSSB is now authorised to implement the Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act 2011 in BBMP limits. Existing users have time till March 31, 2013 to register after which we will conduct a survey to find out the violators and they will be penalised as per rules,” Mr. Venkataraju said.

The prescribed application for registration is available

All existing users of groundwater either through open wells or through borewell should register in Form Number 4 along with a fee of Rs. 50 for domestic use and Rs. 500 for commercial use.

For drilling new open wells or borewells, people can seek permission by applying in the prescribed Form Number 1A and 1B along with the fee.

Even the drilling agencies have to register by applying through Form Number 6 along with a fee of Rs. 5,000 in the respective BWSSB Executive Engineer’s office, he added.