Board bans drinking water’s use for gardening, cleaning in Bengaluru | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Board bans drinking water’s use for gardening, cleaning in Bengaluru

BySharath Sharma Kalagaru, Bengaluru
Mar 09, 2024 07:49 AM IST

The BWSSB issued an order banning people from using drinking water for washing vehicles, gardening, building construction, among other purposes.

The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) on Friday issued an order banning people from using drinking water for washing vehicles, gardening, building construction, and entertainment purposes like water fountains. Malls and theatres have also been instructed to use water only for drinking, road construction, and cleaning purposes.

People stand in a queue with water cans to get drinking water at Jnana Jyothi Nagar in Bengaluru. (PTI)
People stand in a queue with water cans to get drinking water at Jnana Jyothi Nagar in Bengaluru. (PTI)

This order comes against the backdrop of acute water scarcity in Bengaluru city and rural districts.

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“As per the BWSSB Act 1964, Articles 33 and 34, we have decided to ban the usage of drinking water for non-essential purposes,” the BWSSB order said. “Anyone found violating the above order will be fined with 5,000. For subsequent violations, 500 will be added to the fine on a per day basis to the principal fine of 5,000,” it further said.

The board also launched a dedicated call centre for queries related to water issues and urged citizens to call 1916 if they witness any violation.

“It is crucial to supply drinking water to the 1.40 crore (14 million) population of Bengaluru city. With the summer heat intensifying and groundwater resources depleting, it is necessary to stop the wastage of drinking water to ensure its availability for all,” the order stated.

Reacting to the recent order, BWSSB chairperson Ram Prasath Manohar explained the measures taken by the board to address the water crisis.

“There is no water shortage in areas where Cauvery water is supplied. The issue lies in the rest of the city. We are currently supplying 1,470 MLD to meet the demand of Bengaluru city,” Manohar said.

When asked about the feasibility of identifying violations across the city, he added that “We have directed metre readers to patrol their areas daily to observe any violations. We are also requesting citizens to help us conserve water by reporting any misuse. Citizens can inform us, and we will take swift action.”

Over the past week, the state government, Bengaluru civic bodies, as well as the district administration, have been making all-out efforts to combat the water crisis in the city.

On Thursday, the Karnataka government issued an order capping private water tanker prices. Previously, a 6,000-litre water tanker was between 450 any 600. However, with the onset of the water crisis, prices soared to 2,000- 3,000 in the city. To address this issue, the government intervened and fixed the prices.

The district administration has also taken decisive action to regulate the prices of water tankers.

Following a request from BWSSB and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), deputy commissioner KA Dayananda announced new pricing guidelines for private water tanker operators.

With all taluks in Bengaluru urban district declared as drought-hit, private water tanker services will now be subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST). This move aims to address concerns over soaring prices and allegations of exploitation by tanker operators.

Under the new regulations, tankers supplying water within a 5-kilometre radius can charge 600 for 6,000 litres, 700 for an 8,000-litre tanker, and 1,000 for a 12,000-litre tanker. For distance beyond 5 kms but within 10 kms, tankers will charge 750, 850, and 1,200, respectively for the same tanker capacities.

These fixed rates, coupled with GST, are applicable to over 200 private tankers already who have the contract to supply water to Bengaluru city.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, deputy chief minister and Bengaluru development minister, DK Shivakumar issued a directive to BWSSB to assume control of irrigation and commercial borewells to mitigate the water crisis.

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