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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Bengaluru water supply body bans use of drinking water for non-essential purposes, fine of ₹5,000 for violators

In response to the water scarcity in Bengaluru and surrounding districts, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) has issued an order prohibiting the use of potable water for non-essential purpose, including washing vehicles, gardening, and for entertainment purposes like water fountains. Additionally, malls and theatres have been instructed to limit water usage to drinking, road construction, and cleaning purpose only.

The BWSSB has introduced fines for violators, starting at ₹5,000 and escalating to ₹500 per day for subsequent violations. Furthermore, the board has established a dedicated call centre (1916) for citizens to report any misuse of water. BWSSB Chairman Ram Prasath Manohar urged citizens to report violations, and assured swift action by the board.

The order has raised several questions, including how the ban on misuse of potable water will be enforced.

Sources in the BWSSB said while citizens are encouraged to report violations in their areas, assistant engineers will tour their jurisdictions to look for and book offenders.

Why the order had some residents worried

The order has sparked some concern, especially among residents of independent houses that have no access to treated water. While large apartments have been mandated to install in-situ Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and have access to recycled water, there is no such facility in any independent house in Bengaluru.

This order from BWSSB comes a day after the Bengaluru Urban district administration capped the prices of water tankers at a maximum of ₹1,200 for a 12,000-litre load to be delivered within 10 km. However, the price cap too has raised concerns.

In most severely affected areas of south eastern Bengaluru and along Kanakapura Road, most water tanker dealers claim that most borewells in these areas have gone dry. They claim to be going as far as 20 km away one way to fetch water, and this is the norm in these areas now. Thus, the price cap offers little solace for those who have to bear skyrocketing tanker prices in these areas.

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