The BMC defends its proposal to hike water charges. “We last raised the tariff a decade ago. The hike is needed to ensure continuous water supply,” municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar said.
Currently, the BMC incurs a cost of Rs 11 per 1,000 litres for water supply, from bringing water from the dams to our taps. In the proposed hike, it will charge residential consumers Rs 4 per 1,000 litres, which will be cross-subsidised by commercial users who will be charged between Rs 30- Rs 60/1,000 litres.
Water expert Madhav Chitale supports the proposed hike. “Our tariffs are the lowest in the world. Most of the water is used unproductively for cleaning utensils and washing, and this should be controlled,” said Chitale.
Hoteliers, who are already hit by the hike in excise duty, which upped the cost of alcohol and reduced their customers, disagree. “Hotels use water cautiously. But we have to use water to maintain hygiene,” said Gogi Kohli, director of Pritam Hotels, which runs Pritam at Dadar TT. “The impression is that hotels are elitist so they impose all taxes on us.”