BENGALURU: Residents of gated communities and apartments in Bellandur ward are demanding that the Water Board furnish them with their monthly water bills at the earliest. Due to internal issues, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has not sent the bills for eight months.
The Haraluru Village near Varthur area is one of the places supplied water under the scheme launched to provide water to 110 villages in Greater BBMP early this year. The issue came to the fore during the ‘Jala Spandana’ (Public Outreach) organised by the BWSSB at Kudlu Ground Level reservoir, which falls under Bommanahalli jurisdiction.
BWSSB initially supplied water for two days in a week to the area but of late, reduced it to one day, due to the need to supply water to more number of houses which have taken water connections. The area is full of apartments with 75% of them occupied by IT professionals due to the area being located near IT hubs of Outer Ring Road and Electronic City.
M Satish, an entrepreneur at Reliance Lake Dew Layout told TNIE, “We have been receiving Cauvery water from BWSSB since February this year. It is November and we haven’t received any water bill. Paying the full sum together would pose a big challenge to me and many others. Hence, we are insisting that we get our bills.”
Sreejith Govind, an IT professional, who resides at Sobha Classic said, “It will be tough for all of us if we have to pay a heavy bill at the end of say, a year or two. All of us in our apartment comprising 350 houses have pooled in Rs 4.5 crore for the water board towards pro-rata charges and line connections, when we occupied the houses. We will not be in a position to pay any other big sum.”
Those who attended the meet said they had asked the water board to send the bills even during the previous meet.
Govind said BWSSB has assured that water will be properly supplied only by 2023 after the next Cauvery stage is commissioned. “If that was the case, why did they collect all this money in advance from us?” he asked. Govind was also worried if the residents will be asked to pay interest on the unpaid bills.
A senior BWSSB official attributed it to a software issue. “Whenever a new connection is applied for, then the details are fed in and the Revenue Register (RR) number is generated. Following that, meters are fixed at homes. However, due to a problem in the ‘Sajala’ software, the RR number could not be generated. So, recently, we have started fixing the meters first at all houses. Bills will be generated soon,” he said. Additional Chief Engineer, Bommanahalli Junction, A Rajashekar attributed the non issual of bills to a shortage of Meter Readers across BWSSB.