THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Theft of drinking water from the public grid would entail harsher penalties as per a new law being contemplated by the Government, Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran said here on Monday.
At a press conference here, he said the Government proposed to include a provision for two years' imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs.1 lakh in the Kerala Water Supplies and Sewerages Act to tackle the problem of large-scale diversion of drinking water from the public grid.
He said the modest estimate was that Kerala Water Authority (KWA) was losing 2 to 3 million litres of water daily through theft. This was not only causing financial loss to the institution, but also depriving a section of people from uninterrupted supply of drinking water.
Five apartment complexes in Thiruvananthapuram were recently found stealing drinking from the public grid in large quantities. This was, apparently, not an isolated tendency. In the other cities and towns too, the KWA would conduct widespread inspections to identify illegal diversion of drinking water. Water supply to illegal users would be cut without any further formality, he said.
The proposed amendment to the Act would also have provisions for action against officials found guilty of aiding or abetting drinking water theft, the Minister said.