Pumps seized and fines imposed; nexus of some employees exposed
GUWAHATI: The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has seized several pumps that were being used illegally to drain out water from municipal pipes. Pumps were seized during a sudden drive conducted at different households in various city localities in the last one week by the corporation officials with the help of the police.
The GMC at present provides piped water to nearly 60,000 households, which is about 30 to 35 per cent of the actual water requirement of the city.
According to GMC officials, many people, despite receiving piped water provided by the corporation, illegally drain out water from municipal pipes by using pumps.
"During our drive, we sealed more than 50 water pumps that were being used illegally to draw water from municipal pipes. These people, despite receiving water from us, steal water. We have found that these people rent out part of their residences and as such their requirement for water increases. The drive against such water pilferage will continue," said a GMC official.
The official said that the GMC is receiving reports that several landowners and multi-storeyed apartment owners resorting to water pilferage using pumps. "Pumps are fitted with at the endpoint of GMC water lines to extract the huge quantity of water within a short period. When pumps are used, the other residents who do not use them get less water. On many occasions, pipes of other houses go dry," he said.
The official said the residents who were caught while using water pumps during the drive last week would have to pay Rs 20,000 as a fine or penalty. Water connections of those residents will be disconnected if they do not pay the fine.
Even though many residents who do not use pumps to illegally draw more water have welcomed the GMC's latest drive, they are sceptical about continuity of such drive. "Unless such drive is conducted at frequent intervals the erring residents will again reinstall pumps to illegally draw water. Some employees of the Water Works Department of GMC are allegedly taking money from residents to allow them to use pumps. These employees even inform residents before conducting drive so that the latter could remove pumps and not get caught. The GMC commissioner must identify these erring employees and take necessary actions," Habibur Rahman, a resident of Lachit Nagar, said.