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BWSSB - story of unclaimed dues

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Though fund-starved, BWSSB is doing little to claim dues running into crores of rupees from Govt agencies. Says Board chairman P B Ramamurthy: "Since bill collection is the main source of revenue for BWSSB, we have been continuously pressing both the government and semi-government bodies to pay their bills.''

Those who top the list of defaulters are government officials, including the home office of deputy speaker of the assembly, secretary of Karnataka Slum Clearance Board and superintendent, horticulture department. The top 100 defaulters report of BWSSB for June 2010 — accessed by TOI — reveals that the arrears of these agencies and people run up to Rs 6.14 crore.

The BBMP sub-division office, Hebbal, Ganganagar, tops the list with arrears of Rs 99,50,794 and a total bill amount of Rs 2,05,65,569, followed by NP, Kaval Byrasandra, which owes Rs 55,94,414 and office of the project engineer, BBMP swimming pool, Ulsoor sub-division (Rs 34,12,579).

Added Mr Ramamurthy "We have given the offices a month's deadline to pay their dues. If not, water and sewerage facilities will be disconnected.'' The government offices say they have failed to pay because of a delay in grants from the government.

For the full report in the TOI, click here.

I expect the dues would be far more than the Rs 6.14 cr mentioned in the report. And, though the Chairman has stated that the 'water and sewerage facilities will be disconnected' for non-payment, he himself knows that that will not be possible to put that into practice.

Well, under these conditions, it is inevitable that slackness and inefficiency sets in. And, it all becomes self perpetuating. And, this is the story of not just BWSSB alone. We have seen a similar situation in the power sector - check this. And, mind you, these are key infrastructure sectors, affecting everything up and down stream. With BWSSB's ever accumulating arrears, it is not in a position to pay BESCOM for the power supplies, which in turn is not able to pay KPTCL, in turn Coal India, Railways, and so on. As such, however much the other sectors of the economy like Telecom, Civil Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Insurance, etc may take the economy forward, unless we liberate our key infrastructure sectors from the stranglehold of the moribund government players, there's no salvation for the country.

Muralidhar Rao


murali772's picture

the surgeon doesn't have too long to go

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A hike in your water bill is imminent. This was revealed by chief minister Siddaramaiah even as he came up with another shocker: nearly half the water supplied in Bangalore by the BWSSB goes unbilled, mainly because of faulty meters.

The 48% unaccounted water is because of faulty metering, theft and leakage, Siddaramaiah told the legislative council on Thursday. He also said it has become inevitable for the BWSSB to increase water tariff.

- - - Unhappy with the state of affairs in the BWSSB, the CM said he would perform a major "surgery'' by transferring officers who have been in the organization for long.

The BWSSB has been asked to intensify efforts to conduct a survey to identify and regularize illegal water connections and reduce water losses.

Siddaramaiah said that over the past few years, the BWSSB has granted 1,33,312 new connections under Greater Bengaluru Water and Sewerage Plan, but only 87,761 have been regularized with suitable meters. The remaining 45,551 are operating without any meters, resulting in huge losses. The BWSSB has formed a squad to identify such illegal connections and regularize them to improve its revenue.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

I am deliberately posting this under this blog started in July 2010 to bring home the point that very little has changed in the full four years since then. And, nobody is fooled any longer by the CM's so-called "surgery", of transferring officers. The answer perhaps lies in outsourcing the supply to professional contractors as is being attempted in Delhi, which matter has been discussed in detail here.

Like with power supply, if the government does not figure out workable solutions fast, it's plainly digging its own grave. The public mood has changed.

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