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Water crisis: Prior permission must for drilling borewells in B'luru from March 15, says civic body

Bengaluru, Mar 11 (PTI) As the city grapples with one of its worst water crises, the civic water board has warned of initiating legal action against those drilling unauthorised borewells, in yet another measure aimed at tiding over the situation.

Bengaluru, Mar 11 (PTI) As the city grapples with one of its worst water crises, the civic water board has warned of initiating legal action against those drilling unauthorised borewells, in yet another measure aimed at tiding over the situation.

The move comes days after Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) banned the usage of potable water for non-essential purposes, including cleaning vehicles.

In its latest order, the BWSSB said that starting March 15, people have to seek permission for drilling borewells by submitting their applications on its official website. Approval will be granted based on site inspection by the concerned officials, it said.

BWSSB said in an order that before drilling borewells for personal or other use in Bengaluru city, it is mandatory to obtain permission from concerned authorities as per section 11 of Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2011.

It cited lack of adequate rainwater as a reason for decline in ground water level and said many borewells in the city have dried up.

Officials also suspect that ground water level in the city is also decreasing due to 'unscientific drilling' of borewells.

According to the order, borewells should be drilled only in those places where permission has been granted by the concerned authorities and if they are done in unauthorised places, legal action will be taken as per rules.

The order comes just days after BWSSB banned usage of potable water for non-essential purposes -- cleaning vehicles, construction of buildings and roads, for entertainment purposes or decorations like fountains--in the city and stated that violators would be fined Rs 5,000.

Malls and cinema halls are permitted to use potable water only for drinking, according to the March 7 order.

Incidentally, deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, also in-charge of Bengaluru development, had earlier in the day said Karnataka has not witnessed such an acute water crisis in the last 30-40 years, and that the next two months are 'very much important.' PTI AMP RS SA

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