30,000 defaulters owe Chandigarh civic body Rs 14 crore in water bills
Of the total outstanding, government officers owe it Rs 2.5 crore with the rest accumulating from individual defaults, mostly in colonies and villages.punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2017 11:53 IST
Even as the MC has proposed a three-fold hike in water tariff on residents, who brave shortages every year, it has failed to recover more than Rs 14 crore from bill defaulters — 22,000 individuals in colonies, 8,000 in sectors and 150 government offices — over the past two decades. This is even as the water supply department’s revenue has slipped against rising expenditure.
Of the total outstanding, government officers owe it Rs 2.5 crore with the rest accumulating from individual defaults, mostly in colonies and villages. The apathy of officers is clear from that own of its own wings — horticulture and roads — are yet to clear Rs 2 lakh in dues.
In individual cases, almost all colonies and villages are defaulters. Bapu Dham owes MC ₹42 lakh, Mauli Jagran owes ₹86 lakh with Ram Darbar topping the list at ₹1.66 crore. (see box for list).
Executive engineer Suresh Gill said, “Teams have been formed to check defaulters.”
Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, “It is sad that over the past decade, officers have not taken steps to recover dues.”
Revenue sinking, expenditure on the rise
In the last fiscal (2016-17), the MC spent more than what it earned, with revenues pegged at Rs 68 crore (only bills), against its expenditure of Rs 133 crore (salaries, maintenance). This meant, funding of more than Rs 65 crore had to be arranged from somewhere else and was considered to be deficit. The deficit figures for 2015-16 was Rs 66 crore; 2014-15 (Rs 62 crore); 2013-14 (Rs 61 crore) and 2012-13 (Rs 50 crore).