In a move aimed at curbing careless digging of roads, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to make contractors pay heavily, if they damage water pipelines while undertaking work in Mumbai.
According to a proposal – which has been tabled for approval at the standing committee meeting on Friday – the civic body proposes to impose heavy fines on contractors who damage water supply lines.
Those who damage roads while digging without prior permission from the civic body will have to pay four times the charges incurred to repair the damaged pipelines, as fine.
Contractors who damage pipelines while digging with the permission of the BMC will have to pay twice the charges incurred to repair the damaged pipelines, as fine.
It doesn’t end there. The contractors have to repair the damages themselves and also provide alternate sources of water to residents while repair work is underway.
The move aims to arrest casual trenching work that is undertaken frequently by contractors and service providers for different utilities.
The contractors are known to damage water pipelines and other lines with impunity, leaving the civic body to bear the repairing charges.
In December last year, a water pipeline burst after a JCB machine hit the pipeline during road resurfacing work in Breach Candy, leading to water cuts in the nearby areas for more than 24 hours.
The move seems to have been prompted by recent cases in which the civic body had a hard time collecting repair charges from errant contractors.
In order to control haphazard digging of roads, the civic body has also said that trenching of new roads, side-strips and footpaths will cost four times as much as they do on older roads.
The BMC currently charges Rs 8,000 per metre for trenching on concrete roads.
A proposal has also been placed before the standing committee to hike sewerage charges, in addition to the 8% hike in water charges scheduled to be levied from June this year.
At present, residents pay 60% of their water bill as sewerage charges; the proposal wants to increase the amount to 80%. If the hike is approved, your water bill is likely to increase by 20% from April and by 28% from June, after the 8% hike in water charges.