Bengaluru: For the first time in the recent past, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), a para-governmental agency. The water board is fined for digging up the road without permission.
“Seized this JCB operated by BWSSB for repairing a manhole in front of The New Indian Express building without prior permission from the BBMP. Penalty of Rs 25,000 imposed for unauthorised digging & for road restoration from BWSSB,” BH Anil Kumar confirmed on the microblogging platform Twitter.
In the past, the BBMP had also penalised telecom players Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel for digging up newly-laid roads without the written permission from the civic body.
The BWSSB has been undertaking projects worth several crores in and around the City and that most of that requires digging up of roads. While the Board is laying new pipelines for water supply or sewage transportation in the outskirts of Bengaluru, the core areas are being dug up to either repair or replace the old pipelines.
Recently, the BBMP criticized the BWSSB for not repairing the stretches that are dug up for laying new pipelines. The BWSSB, however, maintained that they have paid Rs 100 crore to the civic body towards restoration works.
As the BWSSB works independently, the elected members of the BBMP have been demanding that the Water Board be brought under the civic body. The issue had also come up in several BBMP council meetings in the past. The members believe that the lack of coordination could be reduced if the BWSSB is brought under the BBMP.
The councillors also think that the BBMP is taking all the blame for the inefficiency of BWSSB, while citing examples of water criss in the summer and repeatedly discharging sewage into the lakes including in Bellandur without treated the dirt water.