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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 19 May 2024 7.47 PM IST

Widespread water theft but no squad to detect it; only Central region functional at present among South, Central and North

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water authority without anti-water theft squad to detect water theft. When the squad was formed in 2012, there were South, Central and North regions. At present there is only the central region with Ernakulam as the centre. The problem is the lack of adequate staff and facilities. Six months ago, the water authority had given a new recommendation to restore the South and North regions due to widespread water theft, but the government did not budge.

Central Region includes Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam in the South region and Palakkad, Malappuram Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kasaragod districts in the North region. If water theft is detected, notice will be given to the customer first. The customer should reply within 7 days. The squad will visit the place and prepare the report and Mahazar. The hearing will be after this. The penalty is decided by the Assistant Executive Engineer. The squad consists of Overseer, Assistant Executive Engineer, Assistant Engineer and Fitter.

Water theft methods

  1. Damage to air valves
  2. Irregularity in meters
  3. Direct connection from line
  4. Installation of pump set in line

Punishment

Domestic: Fine ranging from Rs.3000 to Rs.10,000. Double charge for excess water used

Non-domestic: 50,000 to one lakh fine, double charge. Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid

Year, water theft cases, fine (in lakhs)

2017 - 327 - 74.69

2018- 316 - 32.34

2019 - 277- 31.32

2020 - 81 - 16.99

2022 - 92 - 32.69

2023- 195- 15.83

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TAGS: THEFT, WATER
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