COURSTEY THE TRIBUNE MARCH 21
MC proposes three-fold hike in water tariff
High-end users to pay more compared to those consuming less | Two new taxes — advertisement & professional — on cardsRamkrishan Upadhyay
Tribune news service
Chandigarh, March 19
The Municipal Corporation has proposed threefold hike in water tariff in addition to two new taxes — professional tax and advertisement tax. It has also proposed the enhancement of house tax.
The MC is placing the agendas for the same before the House meeting on Monday.
Sources said while threefold increase has been proposed in the water tariff, an increase of 10 per cent has been proposed in the house tax. The move is being taken to improve revenue of the MC.
Sources said, “The revision in the water tariff is being proposed beyond 30 kilolitres (KL) per month for each connection. Those consuming less water (below 30 KL) will not be affected for now. The revision will affect domestic, institutional, commercial and industrial consumers.”
It has also been proposed to enhance the unmetered water tariff for EWS houses from Rs 100 per month per connection to Rs 125 per month per connection and for the unmetered Milk Colony houses from Rs 150 per month per connection to Rs 300 per month per connection in order to encourage water metering and reduce wastage.
It has been found that most of the consumers where unmetered connections are running do not cooperate when it comes to installing water meters, said officials.
There is already a gap, say sources, between the demand and the supply. The city is receiving 87 million gallons daily (MGD) water against a demand of 116 MGD. The move will also reduce the gap between expenditure and revenue collection, say sources. The increase in the tariff will affect the residents of the northern sectors more, comprising areas from Sector 1 to 10, where per capita water consumption is very high compared to the water consumption by the southern sectors and colonies.
The residents of the VIP sectors were consuming 1,000-2,000 litres water per day compared to 250 litres and 100 litres consumed by the residents of the southern sectors and colonies, respectively. The officers have been putting pressure to increase the tariff, but it was rejected by successive Mayors for political reasons.
It is expected that the revision in the rate will earn Rs 50 crore additional revenue yearly to the MC. The MC suffered a loss of Rs 61 crores the previous year on water consumption.
Devinder Singh Babla, Congress Councillor said the party would oppose the proposal for the hike as it was an anti-people decision.