Residents of GMADA sectors decry Mohali MC’s flat rate for water bills
Residents of Sectors 66 to 69 and 76 to 80, who were looking forward to lower water bills after MC took over the water supply management for these sectors from GMADA in January, have received a rude shock.
Contrary to MC’s water tariff of ₹1.8 per 1,000 litres, all residents have recently received a standard bill of ₹420 per household for January to March, charged at a flat rate of ₹140 per month, regardless of the amount of water used.
According to residents, while MC staff went door to door in January to check the water meters, no visit was made in March for fresh meter reading. Consequently, the bills, which do not reflect the house number and only the house owner’s name and sector number, have the same “last” and “current” meter readings.
Sham Lal, a resident of Sector 68, who retired as an executive engineer from Chandigarh’s public health department, said MC should have issued the water bill as per actual consumption, instead of a flat rate, which only encouraged wastage of water.
Ishwar Dutt Sharma, who lives in Sector 80, said residents held protests for two years for parity between water tariff charged by GMADA and MC. But after taking charge of sectors managed by GMADA earlier, MC was now levying charges as per its whims and fancies. “MC staff did not even visit in March/April to check the meter reading to establish the water usage,” he added.
The civic body had taken over the operation and maintenance of water supply and sewerage of these sectors from GMADA on January 1. While GMADA charged ₹5.25 per 1,000 litres, MC levied a charge of ₹1.8 for the same quantity of water, which was expected to give relief to around 40,000 households.
MC’s executive engineer Harpreet Singh said the charges were a minimum of ₹140 per month for every household in MC’s jurisdiction and more if the water usage was higher.
When contacted, mayor Amarjeet Singh Sidhu said he will take up matter with MC officials.