The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has extended the deadline for installation of sewage treatment plant (STPs) in domestic and non-domestic buildings till October end.
In case of domestic building if the owner, occupier or the builder fails to provide the facility in the stipulated period an additional penalty of 25% of water and sanitary charges levied for the first three months from November 2016 to January 2017. And thereafter, the penalty will be 50% of water and sanitary charges till the installation of the facility.
- - - Earlier this year, a BWSSB notification dated February 25, 2016 had set July 2016 as the deadline for domestic buildings to comply by the STP norm and for non-domestic buildings, October 2016 was the deadline. Sources in the BWSSB said the Board has extended the deadline as many buildings in the city are yet to abide by the norm.
The BWSSB has also relaxed the STP norms according to which any owner or occupier or builder who construct/constructed any structure consisting of 20 or more houses or apartments or flats having a total built up area of 2000 Sq mtrs and above including basement within the jurisdiction of BWSSB shall provide STP or Grey Water Treatment Plant (GWTP) with in their premises. The norm earlier was 100 sq mtrs and lot of residents had expressed opposition for the same. However, there has been no change made to the rule which calls for dual piping system for toilet flushing purpose in the buildings.
- - - The norms further say that in all the above mentioned cases treated water from STP should be used for toilet flushing and for other non-potable purposes. BWSSB will give water supply connection to the above category buildings based on the consent for Establishment issued by KSPCB under Environment Act 1074.
For the full text of the report in the ToI, dt 9th Aug, 2016, click here.
On seeing the report, I had thought that it would apply only to new projects, and not the ones that had been commissioned long back. However, a few days back, the services manager of the apartment complex, where I reside, brought to my attention the letters received from BWSSB asking us too to conform to the revised norms, before October end.
Now, I live in an apartment complex in Koramangala, with 124 units, having an aggregate SBA (super built-up area) of close to 25,000 sqM, whose largely norms-compliant "Occupancy Certificate" was issued in 2004. With under-ground sewage lines already available in the area, all that the builder had to do was to connect up our sewage line to the BWSSB mains, outside our gates, quite as per the approval granted. And, from then on, we have been availing the facility and paying the "sanitary charges" too, which is now totalling to a colossal two-thirds of our water bill, including for the borewell water.
Every other facility in the complex has also been architectured according to the norms prevalent then. As such, retro-fitting fresh facilities like an STP, treated water supply lines to each apartment (and the equipment that go along-with them), etc, is a near impossible task now. On the "Rain-water harvesting" front too, there are limitations to what an existing complex can achieve; what can be done, has already been done.
The fear now is that BWSSB is going to be letting loose an "inspector-raaj", essentially for the rent-seeking lot amongst them to make merry.
I expect many other apartment complexes (particularly those within the earlier Corporation limits) are also faced with the same problem. The point in my publishing this blog is to start a debate amongst the affected lot on how to tackle this issue, collectively.
I'll be requesting Mr Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO of Namma Bengaluru Foundation, and Convener of BRACE, to include it in the agenda for the next monthy meet too.
Meanwhile, comments from readers are most welcome.
PS: This is in addition to BWSSB's inequitus levies on apartment complexes for its services - check here, for that.