SCB cracks down on illegal water connections

SCB cracks down on illegal water connections
Highlights

SCB cracks down on illegal water connections. The board identified some 20,000 illegal connections with red letter notices since December.

• 20,000 illegal connections to be disconnected this month

• Looks to collect Rs 20 cr revenue

• On day one 80 connections were disconnected

The board identified some 20,000 illegal connections with red letter notices since December. Till date 1,800 water connections have been disconnected. Out of the total 43,000 consumers, 17,300 were recorded and 20,000 were illegal connections.

The cash-strapped Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has decided to act tough with its water bill defaulters. It already posted several teams in different wards of the Cantonment on Monday to disconnect illegal water connections. The special drive would continue till June 5. SCB plans to disconnect 80-100 connections per day. In two days, around 180 connections were disconnected.

The board identified some 20,000 illegal connections with red letter notices since December. Till date 1,800 water connections have been disconnected. Out of the total 43,000 consumers, 17,300 were recorded and 20,000 were illegal connections.

CEO of the board Sujatha Gupta says, “People can avail the installment facility as well and get the connections regularised. We want to get all the defaulters to fall in line and streamline the system.”

The water arrears have mounted to Rs 40 crore over the years and the SCB looks to retrieve Rs 20 crore during the month long drive.

SCB superintendent (Water Wing) Raj Kumar said, “In several places residents are claiming that the connections are public taps. We consider a public tap only when it serves 7-10 families. In case defaulters do not pay up arrears, the sewerage lines would be cut.”

The board has identified chronic defaulters and has served notices to them. A senior official of SCB says that the defaulters have no other option but to pay up.

The charge for regularisation of water connections for slums is Rs 5000 and for colonies it has been fixed at Rs 15,000. There are 36 official and seven identified slums in the cantonment.

The SCB owes Rs 36 cr to Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply &Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB). The daily requirement is 53 lakh gallons for 4.3 lakh population.

A senior official said that the Water Board threatened to cut off water supply on Election Day on April 30 and a payment of Rs 2 crore was made on the same day. The board is hopeful that the drive to collect arrears from the defaulters would bring in enough revenues to tide over the crises.

Meanwhile, residents have been complaining that the SCB started sending notices and bills since December last. Renuka, a resident of Picket says, “We did not receive bills for years and all of a sudden the board sent us huge bills running into thousands. Were they sleeping all these years? It is difficult for salaried class to pay up huge amounts at a time.”

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