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CHANDIGARH Civic body plans water, sewerage tariff hike to tide over financial crisis

June 06, 2018 06:47 AM

COURSTEY THE HINDUSTAN TIMES JUNE 6

Civic body plans water, sewerage tariff hike to tide over financial crisis
The motive behind the hike is not to earn profit but at least recover operational losses for better working of the municipal corporation.
KK YADAV,
MC chief

CHANDIGARH: Water and sewerage charges are heading for a hike in Chandigarh to augment internal resources of its fund-hit municipal commission (MC).

MC commissioner KK Yadav has directed the public health wing to prepare new water tariff and put it up for approval before the House in its meeting later this month. Yadav said the hike is part of the MC’s financial roadmap to tide over the current financial crisis.

Yadav said the civic body has been spending ₹130 crore on operating and maintaining water supply in Chandigarh annually but is not getting more than ₹70 crore from water and sewerage charges collection.

“The motive behind the hike in tariff is not to earn profit but at least to recover operational losses for better working of the corporation,” he said.

CHARGES TO BE LOW FOR UP TO 20 KL

Yadav said that in the new tariff plan, charges will be kept low

for monthly consumption up to 20 kilolitre.

“Those consuming more than that will have to pay much higher charges,” he said.

A kilolitre (KL) is equal to 1,000 litres. Around 70% of the households within municipal limits consume less that 20KL per month.

At present, the MC charges ₹2 per KL for first 15KL consumption. The rate increases to ₹4 for consumption between 16-30 KL. Sources said the MC may fix ₹5 per KL for first 20KL consumption.

Yadav said sewerage charges will also be increased. At present, it is charged nominally based on average number of seats installed in a household. “We are thinking of fixing sewerage charges based on a certain percentage of total water bill,” said Yadav.

In the neighbouring town Panchkula, sewerage charges are 20% of the total water consumption bill.

NOT THE FIRST ATTEMPT

It is not the first time the MC is trying to revise water tariff. The first attempt was made in 2014-15, when the then UT adviser, Vijay Kumar Dev, asked the civic body to become self-sufficient in their finances.

The previous MC commissioner, Jitender Yadav, too tried to increase water tariff, but the agenda could not be prepared as the mayor maintained that the revision is possible only when people start getting additional water supply from phases 5 and 6 of the Kajauli waterworks.

While mayor Davesh Moudgil could not be contacted for comment on Tuesday, MC opposition leader Devinder Singh Babla of the Congress said his party will oppose any hike in water tariff

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