Violators to land in sea of troubles

The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is tightening its noose around consumers who use illegal water connections, drawing water using motor pumps from pipelines and tampering with water meters.

The authority’s newly-formed non-revenue water management unit (NRWM unit) has identified a large number of illegal connections in the city and imposed fines on more than 150 consumers.

KWA sources say that commercial consumers like hotels, construction sites and big domestic consumers like apartments are the major law breakers.

“We’ve identified 150 major offences in the city till October 31 and have collected more than `12 lakh as fines and compounding charges. Though these connections were disconnected, most of them were reinstated later as the majority of consumers remitted the fines,” said Siddique, member of the NRWM unit.

Due to illegal water connections, those with valid connections are being deprived of water supply with remote areas in West Kochi being the worst affected. Residents have been continuously complaining about the supply of contaminated water.

Besides, due to illegal water connections in main potable water pipelines, low pressure has become a perennial problem.

Special unit members are also tracking major leakages in the pipeline and informing the concerned sub-divisional office.

The assistant executive engineer who is in charge of NRWM unit has recently issued a release to the general public saying that strict action, including imprisonment and a fine, would be imposed against offenders and that they should abstain from water theft.

Meanwhile, KWA authorities plan to expand the functioning of the special unit by deploying more personnel in the inspection squad.

“Now, the squad only has five members and when we go for filed inspection, the office work gets affected. With more people we will be able to make the raid more effective,” added Siddique. Operations of the unit, now based in the Kaloor sub-divisional office, will be expanded to other sub divisions as well.

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