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Easier route to apply for pipe water

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 27: Original land records may soon not be required to apply for residential pipe water connection.

If the state government gives its nod to the Odisha Water Utility (Urban Local Bodies) Rules (OWU), 2012, people will be able to get water connection by producing a photocopy of the holding tax receipt, electricity and telephone bill, voter identity card, Adhar card, passport, bank passbook, ration or even BPL card in Bhubaneswar.

To make pipe water available and popular among citizens, the housing and urban development department has submitted a proposal to the state government to change guidelines.

The initiative also aims at reducing overuse of groundwater in and around the city area.

Only in inaccessible areas can a resident have a deep bore well. In areas where it is possible to have a pipe water connection, residents will not get permission to use groundwater. In future, for any bore well one has to get a no-objection certificate from the executive engineer concerned of the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO).

The proposed rules were recommended following a meeting chaired by housing and urban development department principal secretary Injet Srinivas last week. Following the suggestion made in the rules, security fees for water connection for individual houses or apartments will be Rs 2,000 each and for sewerage connection Rs 1,000.

PHEO chief engineer Chitta Ranjan Mohanty said: “The rules will be implemented in the areas where there are still facilities for pipe water supply and sewerage. The mandatory pipeline from PHEO will help people not to depend on groundwater. On the other hand, the mandatory channelling of sewage water to the sewerage line will reduce contamination of groundwater across the city.”

However, as most of the areas in the city are still not covered by the sewerage network, senior project engineer, Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board, B.K. Parida said: “Of the 298 proposed sewage pipelines targeted for Bhubaneswar, 143-km laying work is over and the rest of the work will be done by June 2014. In the places where the PHEO has its old sewage line, residents will have to connect their wastewater to this line.”

The Odisha Water Utility (Urban Local Bodies) Rules, 2012, also advocates mandatory use of metres for pipe water connection. Metres in the city will be fitted in a phase-wise manner.

If you live in a private building and want the PHEO to do the installations, you will have to bear the cost of installation.

However, in case of tampering, the consumer will have to replace the defective metre and be charged six times the amount of the average monthly consumption as penalty.

Once the rules are implemented, a consumer will receive an incentive of five per cent of the annual water bill if the payment is done in advance for a year.

There will also be a provision to send alerts to water consumers through short messaging service regarding the payment of monthly water tariff.