Punjab proposed the penalty of non-compliers of the water bill, new legislation for water conservation

CHANDIGARH: Amid concerns about water waste, the chief minister Amarinder Singh On Thursday, it issued a series of directives, including the penalization of defaulters of their water bills.

With the state as acute, Amarinder reviewed the situation at the second meeting of the Consultative Group on Urban Renewal and Reforms and ordered a virtual war against water waste.

In addition to stricter enforcement of the rules and regulations, Amarinder requested interested departments to propose amendments, if any, to enforce the payment of water fees as a deterrent to those who waste water. If necessary, the state could resort to separate legislation to ensure water conservation and prevent the Punjab from drying out.

He asked the department to decide on the installation of meters to control the theft and waste of water in large houses in elegant localities of the state, an official spokesman said after the meeting. The meeting discussed the possibility of changing to a volumetric rate to stop the waste of water, as well as to make the operation and maintenance of the water supply/sewage system sustainable.

By emphasizing the need to raise awareness among people about water conservation, Amarinder called on the local government department and the water and sanitation supply to organize special camps to educate people, especially in rural areas, to raise awareness about the need to preserve water. He also called on MLAs to organize mass contact programs at the district, subdivision and block levels to mobilize public opinion to save every drop of water.

To address the problem of water drainage during the monsoons, he sought an integral solution, both in an emergent and long-term way. He asked the local government to organize suction and water jetting machines for the cleaning of drowned sewer lines, which are often flooded during heavy rains.

He also requested the immediate release of funds at the rate of Rs 221 crore, under the 14th Finance Commission, to the Local Government department for the execution of development work in local urban agencies (ULB).

Amarinder also gave instructions for a meeting of MLA, MP and mayors of the corporations by the department of local agencies to identify the basic problems related to the strengthening of civic facilities.