With the Ludhiana municipal corporation failing to recover water and sewerage dues from defaulters, it is now pinning hopes on geographic information system (GIS), which is used to assess water and sewerage connections.
The MC had undertaken several drives to recover the dues, but to no avail. The then additional commissioner Isha Kalia had ordered a fast recovery of all dues last year and operation and maintenance chief Kamlesh Bansal was appointed the nodal officer of the project to recover the dues.
However, the system failed miserably and the MC was not able to collect any significant amount of dues. Surprisingly, an amount of Rs 62.25 crore is still pending as dues of water and sewerage in Zone D, Rs 54.05 crore in Zone A, Rs 35.76 crore in Zone B and Rs 40.23 crore in Zone C.
So far, no policy has been made to recover whopping amount from the defaulters who have not deposited their water and sewerage dues for the past several years. The bills have reached such a huge amount due to the fact that 18% of interest is also levied every year which further increases the dues. The MC is now trying to assess the number of water and sewerage connections in the city through GIS system.
PS Ghuman, zonal commissioner of Zone D, said a pilot project had been launched in MC’s block number 27 in which information was being gathered through GIS. Ghuman said the MC had come to know through GIS only that there were 500 illegal connections in block number 27. There were a total of 37 blocks in MC.
“After GIS verification, a physical confirmation will be done which will make it clear as to how many water and sewerage connections are there in a block,” said Ghuman. As per sources, there are at least 2.30 lakh legal connections of water and sewerage in the city. However, there are a total of more than 3 lakh buildings in the city which makes it clear that there are several illegal connections. “We have formed various teams to recover dues from defaulters,” Ghuman added.