City Police Commissioner directs all stations to file FIRs for water thefts in Bengaluru
By S Lalitha | Express News Service | Published: 18th May 2017 05:21 AM |
BENGALURU: Vigilance squads of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) can now heave a sigh of relief. The City Police Commissioner has directed cops at all police stations to register FIRs in water theft cases.
The order by the Commissioner on Monday directs water theft cases to be booked under Section 108-A (1) and (2) of the BWSSB Act. This has solved a major confusion experienced by cops as well as BWSSB officials when it came to booking of cases against individuals for stealing Cauvery water through illegal connections.
Out of the 465 complaints received against erring residences and commercial establishments by the two vigilance squads constituted to crackdown on water pilferage across the City, only 168 FIRs had been booked from February to April this year.
“We always faced problems when we went to book cases at police stations. Cops would be totally clueless about the Section under which water theft cases could be booked. BWSSB officials had to do much explaining and convince cops to book a case,” said a top official.
Vigilance squads empowered to conduct random checks
One five-member squad was constituted under Administrative Officer Krishtagowda Tayannavar on January 25 this year while a second one under the Chief Administrative Officer K H Jagadeesh on March 30 to bring down water losses, said BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief Kemparamaiah.
The squads were empowered to conduct random checks at residences or commercial establishments. Under the amended Sections, the individuals could be sentenced to up to two years of imprisonment, an official said.
Water theft cases were reported from Koramangala, Sahakar Nagar, Byrasandra, Sultanpalya, Hoodi, Ramamurthy Nagar, Banashankari and Majestic area.
“The most common form of pilferage involves having a connection from the BWSSB mainline before it reaches the meter,” said another official. Tampering of water meters was also detected.