Bengaluru: Taps at the police quarters on R.K. Math Road in Ulsoor have gone dry for the last three months. Though Rs 250 is cut from the salaries of policemen towards water charges, the BWSSB has cut their connection, saying each of the 36 families of police constables has to pay dues of Rs 11,000.
Though the DG&IGP’s office last year issued a circular asking the department’s administration wing not to cut the amount from the salaries of constables, the practice continues. But since the bills, running into lakhs of rupees over the years, have not been paid, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has cut the water connection to the quarters.
The quarters occupants said that they were not paying the water bills assuming that the department was clearing them. But they were in for a rude shock when water stopped running in their taps. The bigger question, however, is where did the money collected from the police personnel, whose families stay in the quarters, go?
“The department deducts Rs 250 every month towards water bill from my husband’s salary. But the BWSSB gave us a shock, asking each of our families to pay Rs 11,000 towards dues and to restore water connections,” said Ms Kavitha, wife of a police constable.
“For the last three months, we have been fetching water from a public tap half a kilometre away,” said Ms Jyothi, wife of another constable. “We are also forced to buy cans of drinking water and they cost a bomb, especially during summer,” she said.
“All the wives of constables tried to approach the jurisdictional DCP twice last month. But we were shooed away from his office in Ulsoor police station,” the wife of another constable, who wished not to be named, said.
Eight to ten families have vacated the quarters since water connections were cut, some of the residents alleged. A DCP-ranked officer told Deccan Chronicle that a number of technical issues were involved in this problem, and it not restricted to Ulsoor quarters alone, but to most other quarters too. “A single meter is fixed for an entire block. As some families use more water, others do not want to bear the burden,” he said.
A senior police officer in the administration wing of the city police confirmed that the DG&IGP’s office had issued a circular asking the wing not to deduct water charges from constables’ salaries.
But the officer, who wished not to be identified, was not sure why the money continued to be deducted. He blamed the constables for not paying the water dues on time to respective linesman, who is an inspector-level officer in charge of collecting water charges....