BENGALURU: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has hiked the one-time fee for new water and sanitary connections for some categories of individual houses, bringing it on par with charges for apartments. Rates for commercial establishments remain unchanged.
According to a senior official, the new rate will be Rs 400 per square metre of the house from Rs 250.50 per sqm in place earlier for houses which need to pay pro-rata charges. The new rates came into effect on March 14 following a gazette notification. The previous hike was effected in January 2016.
Houses that just have a ground floor and first floor are exempt from pro-rata charges. “These charges have to be paid only for houses which have a second floor and more,” he said. The rate for commercial buildings is Rs 600 per sqm and will remain the same, he added.
Another official said the change had been effected following complaints by many apartments who felt that they were paying more to get a domestic connection while individual houses paid almost half the charge. “There will not be room for any more complaints from them,” he added.
V B Maheshwarappa, executive engineer, revenue billing, BWSSB, told The New Indian Express, “There are nearly existing 9.87 lakh water connections in the city. The move will only impact those wanting new connections. Existing houses will not be affected.”
Applications for new connections are coming in from the 110 villages across K R Puram, Mahadevapura, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Yelahanka, Dasarahalli, Bommanahalli and Kengeri, he added. The response though to opt for a new BWSSB connection has been very poor with public unwilling to pay for water which was available free of cost earlier.
The Bengaluru Navanirmana Party (BNP) has urged the government to address the water crisis in the city, especially Mahadevapura Constituency. N A Srinivas Reddy of BNP said, “With the government allowing rampant unplanned development in these areas, lakhs of citizens are dependent on water supply from tankers, which source water from bore wells dug with proper electricity connections in Hoskote and Anekal taluks. Out of nowhere, power supply was disconnected a couple of days back purportedly on an order from the Tahsildar citing the depleting water table.” Gautham Mishra, Ward Leader of BNP in Kadugodi, said the solution lies in all government agencies agencies working together. “They have to get their act together.”