Stop borewell surcharge, remove RWH deadline

Residents of 4th Block and 5th Block Jayanagar, Bangalore have written to Dr V S Acharya, Minister for Higher Education, and S Suresh Kumar, Minister for BWSSB on their problems with BWSSB’s rules on Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) and the deadline of December 31st. They write:
Dear Sir,
We would like to bring the following facts to your notice, and request that you use your good offices to safeguard the interests of the general public of Bangalore City.

As we all know, Bangalore Development Authority has obtained the legislative sanction to allot sites to all residents of Bangalore who have paid the value in full. The clause in the agreement has specifically stated the schedule of the property as follows:-
‘All the piece and parcel of site, together with all rights, appurtenances whatsoever, whether underneath or above the surface.’

1.    This means that all elemental forces like earth, water, air and sunlight are part of the property owned by the purchaser. If BWSSB wants to control over the water part of this property, they should necessarily obtain the sanction through the state legislature. But, they have transgressed their limits and gone ahead collecting surcharge from residents who have spent their money to construct the bore-wells and also paid for installation of the pumps. We now have the right to challenge this and demand return of this surcharge money to us.

2.    If ground water within the limits of our site is allowed to be taxed as surcharge every month, the day will not be far off if the earth, air and sunlight may also be taxed. We may be asked to pay ‘surcharge’ for growing plants like coconut trees, flowers and vegetables within the limit of our site.

This anarchical state of affairs regarding Rainwater Harvesting by threatening the residents to disconnect the supply of drinking water can never be allowed to have its sway by any law-abiding citizen who has been paying property tax to the BBMP. Time is ripe for all citizens to cry halt to this authoritarian demand by the BWSSB who have no legislative sanction to take away our right to live. Will the government respond to our objection to stop supply of drinking water as announced by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board? Please accede our request that Rainwater Harvesting should not be made mandatory and see to it that there is no disconnection of drinking water.

4.    Several hundred natural water tanks in and around Bangalore city have been destroyed and the space converted into building sites. Government has thousands of crores of rupees as profits by sales of these sites and hence is largely responsible for the ground water level being diminished to a great extent.


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