Chandigarh water rates to jump 5-fold, but not for lawns of the rich! | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh water rates to jump 5-fold, but not for lawns of the rich!

Even as the municipal corporation is set to hike the domestic-category water tariff by over five times, the residents of large houses — one kanal and above — will continue to pay a fraction for the same quality of water under their additional, ‘irrigation’ connections.

punjab Updated: Apr 29, 2016 17:21 IST
Hillary Victor 
The new domestic tariff, notification of which is awaited, would take rates up to Rs 50 per 1,000 litres.
The new domestic tariff, notification of which is awaited, would take rates up to Rs 50 per 1,000 litres. (Representative image)

Even as the municipal corporation is set to hike the domestic-category water tariff by over five times, the residents of large houses — one kanal and above — will continue to pay a fraction for the same quality of water under their additional, ‘irrigation’ connections.

The new domestic tariff, notification of which is awaited, would take rates up to Rs 50 per 1,000 litres. But, in the ‘irrigation’ connections issued three decades ago to 2,300-odd houses for watering lawns, the same quality of water would continue to be supplied at the old rate of Rs 8 for 1,000 litres.

These houses have two connections, one that is considered ‘domestic’ and the other ‘irrigational’, though both get potable drinking water.

Questions are now being raised as to why these house-owners would ever opt for tertiary treated water for the irrigation purpose if they continue to get potable water in those lines at less than a fifth of the usual tariff. Tertiary water costs Rs 50 per month per connection, but is no popular also due to reported bad smell.

When contacted, MC commissioner B Purushartha said, “I am not aware of the issue, but will look into it. As far as tertiary treated water is concerned, we are making it mandatory.” He did not give any deadlines.

BJP councillor Satinder Singh said it was “strange that they have left out the rich”. “With this, the tertiary water project has failed. I will take up the issue in the MC House meeting on Friday,” he added.

Another senior officer said that the post of superintending engineer in the water wing has been lying vacant for two years, and the lower-rung officers are “working at their own whims and fancies”.

Already, as per a report prepared by the MC’s water expert committee in October 2014, there is unequal distribution of water between northern and southern sectors, which is seen as a marker of economic disparity.

Residents of the northern sectors, including Sectors 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been getting around 1,000 litres of water per capita per day (LPCD), whereas those in Sectors 33, 34, 35, 36, and 49, for instance, have been getting only 400 LPCD.

 

 

 

Questions are raised, why they have left rich and only targeted the public at large. Councillors say, if they will continue getting water at Rs 8, why they will opt for Tertiary Treated water? 

 

However when contacted, MC Commissioner, B Pursharta said, “I am not aware of the issue, but will look into it. As far as Tertiary Treated water is concerned, we are making it mandatory.” 

 

BJP Councillor Satinder Singh, it is strange that, why they left out the rich and with this, their tertiary treated water project has failed. It is serious matter, why officers did not revise this rate. I will take up the issue in house meeting on Friday, he said. 

 

A senior officer said, the post of superintending engineer is lying vacant since past two years and lower rung officers are working at own whims and fancies. 

 

Already, as per a report prepared by the water expert committee in October 2014, there is an unequal distribution of water in the northern and southern sectors. Residents of the northern sectors, including Sectors 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 have been getting around 1,000 litre per capita per day (LPCD), whereas those living in Sectors 33, 34, 35, 36, and 49 have been getting only 400 LPCD. 

 

 

Tertiary treated water supply project a failure: Three years back, the civic body assured that it would streamline the project. However, the ground reality is quite contrary. The `15-crore TT project was commissioned to cater to houses of one kanal and above (nearly 5,000) in the city, but only 600 connections have been allotted to date. Councillors alleged that the MC has failed to make residents aware about the use of TT water.