South Dum Dum Municipality has launched a drive against illegal tapping of potable water from the mains.
“There are over 3,000 such illegal connections in the Bediapara area and we have started a mobile campaign against those who tap with a request that they apply for a legal connection,” said chairman-in-council (water supply) Anup Mitra.
“So far, 150 people who tap drinking water have collected application forms from the municipality,” he added.
The civic authorities had decided to snap the illegal water connections after a cut-off date, to be announced soon.
Besides, the municipal authorities are exploring the possibility of offering filtered water connections to every ownership flat against a payment of Rs 30 a month. Civic engineers feel it would only be possible if illegal tapping could be checked.
According to Mitra, since the people of Bediapara were drawing water directly from the mains (and not through ferrules), supplies to house-owners with legal connections was hit.
The South Dum Dum Municipal area is inhabited by 400,000 people and the per capita water supply to them is 18 gallons a day. In Calcutta, it is more than 50 gallons a day.
The municipality receives a supply of 10 million gallons of filtered surface water daily from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC).
There would have been no shortage of filtered water in the municipal area if the CMC supplied 55 million gallons a day for the South Dum Dum and Salt Lake areas, chairman-in-council Mitra said.
The problem has become more acute as the population of the area has increased. “For any future planning, this has to be factored in,” Mitra pointed out.