BESCOM sends disconnection notice to apartments upon KSPCB orders

KSPCB is asking the apartments to adhere to the water act. But the problem is that many of the issues KSPCB is bringing forward are being contested by apartment residents as irrelevant and undesirable.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has been serving illegal notices to apartment residents, threatening to disconnect electricity and water, with the malafide intent of extortion by corrupt officials, says a press note from Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF).

Apartment associations are reportedly refusing to bribe the officials who want to “settle” matters, and have joined hands under the aegis of Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF) to fight against these unlawful and malafide practices, informs the notice.

The KSPCB notices cite conditions which are completely against the rules laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF). A MOEF notification dated 9th December 2016 stipulates that consent from the State Pollution Control Boards is not needed for residential buildings up to 1,50,000 sq. metres. Despite this, KSPCB has been issuing notices to apartments forcing them to seek their consent.

KSPCB has been stipulating illegal, irrelevant and impossible conditions as part of their “consent mechanism”. For example, they are mandating older apartments to put up organic waste converters (OWCs), which is not mandatory. BBMP, through its notice dated 20th September 2012, had given the option to apartments to either put up an OWC or dispose segregated waste with authorised contractors.

Similarly, KSPCB notices mandate installation of dual piping, which is not mandated by any law, but which KSPCB insists on it as part of its “consent mechanism”, with the motive of harassment.

On standards of treated water, while MOEF has stipulated guidelines through its notification dated 13th October 2017, KSPCB has been going beyond the brief through its “consent mechanism” and seeking impossible compliance on parameters not stipulated by CPCB at all, like parameters on nitrogen, phosphorus etc. KSPCB also continues to insist on STPs for older apartments, citing that they are letting their sewage into BWSSB drains, according to the press note.

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With KSPCB issuing orders to BESCOM to disconnect electricity for the apartments that do not comply with its orders, harassment is now reaching a new level, says the press note from BAF.

“Corruption and blatant abuse of power by agencies like KSPCB continues to be the bane of this society and continues to hamper the growth and development of this country. Law-abiding and responsible citizens will no longer get intimidated by such blatantly malafide practices and are uniting under the aegis of BAF to fight the same,” says the press note.

Note: The press note and the document were shared by Srikanth Narasimhan of Bangalore Apartments Federation (BAF).

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