The UT administration is all set to increase water tariff, by more than three times the current rates, from April 15. The increased rates would be applicable on bills where the consumption is more than 60 kilolitre (1 kl=1,000 litres) a month.
The average domestic consumption per person per day the in city is 252 litres, meaning a monthly consumption of 8,000 litres per person. However, the consumption varies sector-wise and a resident in posh sectors consumes around 10,000 litres a month. So, the tariff hike will mostly be applicable on a family of six residing in a 1-kanal house in northern sectors. Here, the tariff will be increased to Rs 30 from Rs 8 now if the total consumption is between 60-80 kl.
A detailed study conducted by the civic body’s engineering wing in October 2014 has revealed that a resident in the posh northern sectors consumes 934 litre to 1,376 litre of water, per person, per day.
The MC study reported, “The consumption is more in the northern sectors as compared to other sectors and some sectors like 2,3,4,5 and 9, are drawing more than 1,000 litre per person per day as against the average domestic demand of the city which is 252 per person per day. This is due to the fact that the houses are mostly 1 kanal or more in area in these sectors. Drinking water is used for irrigation of lawns leading to wastage of water.”
The national norm is 135 litre per person per day.
Interestingly, the decision has been taken even as the municipal corporation has rejected the proposal several times in House meetings. The decision also comes days before the administration is to submit its plan for inclusion on the list of smart cities to be developed by April 15.
“The notification on water tariff hike will be issued soon and implemented from April 15,” said a senior official with the administration, adding that there was a huge difference between the cost of procurement and the tariff charged, leading to losses for the exchequer.
“To generate more income for the smart city project, we needed to take the decision. There was no choice.”
Mayor Arun Sood told HT, “The issue of water tariff revision is under the MC’s purview. Let the administration give its proposal to us with reasons on why a hike is necessary. The issue will be discussed at a House meeting.”
‘Sparring common between MC and admn’
Incidentally, sparring over such issues that could be politically sensitive are common between the MC and the administration.
In August 2015, even as the MC House had rejected the imposition of house tax, the UT administration went ahead and imposed the levy.
On water tariff hike, city Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra said, “If the UT administration does implement the hike, the BJP will be responsible. Mayor Arun Sood had hinted at such an increase as soon as he became mayor.”
Former mayor Subhash Chawla said, “Instead of trying to impose its own agenda on the MC, the administration must take the elected body into confidence. We will do whatever is in the best interest of the city.”