Don’t Own Rainwater Harvesting Units in Bengaluru? You’ll Be Fined

Defaulters will have to pay 25% of the water bill as penalty for the first three months starting December 2015.

2 min read
Don’t Own Rainwater Harvesting Units in Bengaluru? You’ll Be Fined

Property owners in Bengaluru will face an incremental penalty if they fail to install rain-harvesting units before December 2015.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board has decided to make rainwater- harvesting units mandatory for property owners, who own houses built in the year 2009 or earlier and on sites of dimensions of 40x60 ft or more.

The Times of India reported that owners would have to pay 25 per cent of their water bill as penalty for the first three months and 50 per cent of the bill from the fourth month.

Sources told The Times of India that the urban development department has accepted BWSSB’s proposal and will soon issue a notice.

Speaking to The Times of India, BWSSB Chairman TM Vijay Bhaskar said that BWSSB had identified 3,000 properties built on 40x60 ft or bigger sites which did not implement the rainwater-harvesting programme after the board announced guidelines in the year 2009. In the same year the board had made water-harvesting units compulsory for houses built on 30x40 ft too.

About 45,000 house owners have complied with the rule. To get others on board, we’ve mooted the penalty. We are waiting for the government’s approval to our proposal. We’ll issue a circular soon.

TM Vijay Bhaskar, BWSSB Chairman

The newspaper reported that the board plans to conduct a survey again and is sure that there would be thousands of violators.

During inspections, I found houses built on 30x40 ft sites post 2009, not having RWH in place. This means our officials haven’t conducted proper checks. Once the survey is over, we’ll take action against the erring officers too.

The Times of India quoted Naga Bhushan K, a retired bank employee from Vijayanagar in southwest Bengaluru saying, “the board’s penalty route won’t work if the objective is to fully realize RWH benefits. The BWSSB is focusing on core Bengaluru area where groundwater levels are relatively better. Plus, most properties have a Cauvery connection.”

The BWSSB must look at developing areas beyond Outer Ring Road where groundwater levels have depleted. The irony is many properties in outbacks don’t have a BWSSB water link; how do you levy the penalty then?

Naga Bhushan K

Anupama Kamat, a member of Jala Poshan, an NGO working for water conservation, gave the board a thumbs-up. But she too expressed doubts about the penalty system, reported The Times of India.

Instead of penalising property owners where some may prefer to pay fine and continue with violations, the BWSSB must offer incentives to property owners who have installed the apparatus.

Anupama Kamat

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