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Bengaluru water crisis: ₹20 lakh fine collected from over 400 families for using potable water in activities like washing vehicles and gardening

The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has fined 407 people in the city for using potable water for gardening and washing vehicles. A fine of Rs 20.3 lakh was collected from these people in the city that has been facing acute water scarcity for the last 2 months. Notably, since 10th March, a fine of Rs 5000 has been imposed in Bengaluru city for using potable water in such activities. If the user proves that the water is treated and recycled, he need not pay a fine. An additional fine of Rs 500 is levied if the offence is repeated.

Due to the water scarcity, the board has banned the use of potable water for vehicle washing, gardening, filling swimming pools, construction and maintenance activities since March 10. It has asked the people to use treated water for such purposes.

According to a report by the Times of India, 407 citizens in the capital of the Kannada state have been fined for using potable water for other household tasks like gardening and washing vehicles. The BWSSB has asked people to use recycled water for these activities. A middle-aged man from Vignananagar, near Doddanekkundi in east Bengaluru, was the latest case of such a fine collection. He was caught while washing his scooter on the occasion of Ugadi on Tuesday (9th April).

A BWSSB officer said, “We have fined 407 persons till April 9 and collected Rs 20.3 lakh from the violators so far.” BWSSB officials are also responding to public alerts regarding the inappropriate use of drinkable water and they are also acting on their own as well.

BWSSB chief engineer Suresh B said, “The public too is passing on information to the board about those families using potable water for gardening or cleaning vehicles. BWSSB doesn’t collect fines just because it sees someone cleaning vehicles. We cross-check with them by asking about the source of the water. If they fail to prove it is treated water, we collect a fine from them.”

BWSSB officials reported that out of the 407 fines issued, 90% were for vehicle washing and the remainder for gardening. They have cautioned offenders against repeating the infraction, stating that for each subsequent violation, an additional Rs 500 will be added to the Rs 5,000 fine. BWSSB emphasized that the objective is not merely to collect fines but rather to urge individuals to conserve potable water amidst the current scarcity.

Notably, the Bengaluru water crisis has made living in the IT city more miserable than ever. The scarce rainfall in 2023 due to the El Nino effect has caused the groundwater table to disappear, not just lower. Many borewells in and around the city including the one owned by Karnataka’s deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar have dried. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s residence is also dependent on tankers for the water supply.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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