Consumers paying through their nose for water in Chandigarh
After the recent hike in water tariff in Chandigarh, which ranges from 40% to 185%, the city residents, in some consumption slabs, are paying more than 10 times the rates prevalent in the neighbouring districts of Mohali and Panchkula.
Sample this: For a Chandigarh resident, with a water consumption of 200 kilolitre per month, the bimonthly bill comes to around ₹10,000. In Panchkula, it is less than ₹1,000, while in Mohali it is less than ₹500. This is the slab in which most residents fall.
Meanwhile, a household consuming 50-kl water in Panchkula gets a bill of ₹273, while in Chandigarh, it is ₹1,025.
In addition to having the highest water tariff, Chandigarh also has the highest rate of sewerage cess in the tricity. As much as 30% of the water consumption charges are added to the bill as sewerage cess in Chandigarh. In Panchkula, it is 20%, while in Mohali, it is ₹30 per seat.
In September last year, the UT administration had notified the new water tariff. In October, the MC General House passed a resolution to roll back the hike. However, the administration did not approve it. The House will again debate the issue in its meeting on March 9.
RK Garg, president, Second Innings Association, said: “It is pertinent to highlight here that when the source of supply for water in the tricity is common, then why is the Chandigarh MC charging rates in excess. As per the 1983 agreement on water distribution from Bhakra through Kajauli, it is shared among Mohali, Chandigarh, Chandimandir and Panchkula. As such, higher rates imposed on Chandigarh residents are unjustified.”
The water tariff in Panchkula were last revised in January 2018. Earlier, the rates were high, as notified in April 2017, and were lowered after residents protested. In Mohali, from January 1 this year, a uniform rate of ₹1.8 per kl was imposed.
For a Chandigarh household with a consumption of 25 kl per month, the old bimonthly tariff was ₹232, while now it is ₹323, an increase of ₹91 or 40%.
Similarly, for a consumer with 50-kl consumption per month, the bill has gone up by 72%, from ₹596 to ₹1,025.
For 100-kl consumption, a consumer is getting 140% higher bimonthly water bill, while for 150 kl, it has increased by 165%.
For consumption of 200-kl water, the bill has gone up from ₹3,664 to ₹10,073. As this is the slab in which most residents fall, most are paying 175% more than they paid at older rates.
Meanwhile, for residents falling in the 300-kl per month slab, the water bill has been inflated by 185%.