In an attempt to check water wastage during summer, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has imposed a ban on watering of lawns and washing cars.
The ban will come into force from April 15 and will last until June 30. Those found flouting the ban will be penalised with a fine of Rs 2,000.The defaulters can pay the fine on the spot or get it added to their water bills. Challans will also be issued if water is found overflowing from tanks.
Over the years, the civic body’s attempts to check water wastage have been half-hearted. For effective enforcement this year, a total of 18 teams under a sub-divisional officer have been constituted.
For the past few years, the enforcement wing of the corporation has been facing flak from the public for only penalising residents in southern sectors for wasting water while ignoring those residing in northern sectors.
In 2009, the civic body issued only 16 challans and 52 in 2010. In 2011, only two challans were issued in entire summer. However, in 2012, the civic body issued 1,002 challans, the highest so far. Thereafter, the drive lost steam once again. In 2014, the MC issued nearly 350 challans while last year, 250 challans were issued.
Last year, in the first 10 days of the drive, of 37 people who were challaned, only two of them were from sectors 2 and 10. The concentration of the civic body remained on Manimajra and on sectors 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 34, 35, 38 (West), 44, 49 and 52.
Mayor Arun Sood said that the number of teams had been increased to 18. “Efforts will be made to enforce the ban in toto. Instructions have been issued not to spare anyone irrespective of the area,” he said, adding that he would also conduct surprise checks in different parts of the city.
Before 2009, the civic body issued only notices. Later, a fine of Rs 500 was introduced which was enhanced to Rs 2,000 in 2012.
Shortage of water
Chandigarh receives 87 million gallons daily (mgd) of water against the peak-time requirement of 116 mgd. Residents complain about low water pressure, especially on upper storeys. With the corporation not being able to meet the peak demand, Mayor Arun Sood has urged the residents not to waste water. “Considering the problems we face due to shortage of water, wasting water is a criminal act,” he said.