BMC may propose hike in water cess | india | Hindustan Times
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BMC may propose hike in water cess

THE BHOPAL Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration is likely to propose hike in water cess for domestic water tap connections to Rs 160 per month in next meeting corporation general council on April 29.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 14:39 IST

THE BHOPAL Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration is likely to propose hike in water cess for domestic water tap connections to Rs 160 per month in next meeting corporation general council on April 29.

Going by the indications, BJP corporators, whose support to the proposal is vital for its approval, are likely to settle for hiking it to Rs 100 per connection this time.

The rising cost of water supply has forced the corporation to propose hike in water cess. About a year back, the BMC’s general council had reduced the water cess to Rs 60 from Rs 150 per month. The BMC had gone in for increasing water cess in 2002 to Rs 150 per month. However, the State Government termed this hike ‘illegal’ due to procedural lacunae.

The BMC spends about Rs 35 crore on City water supply per year against Rs 13 crore it collects as water tax. Even the hike in water cess, the officials said, would not be enough to bridge the gap between earning and expenditure on water supply. At best, the gap could be narrowed, they maintained.

Any proposal for hike in water cess has so far faced opposition from the BJP corporators. Now, many of them believe that with expenses going up there is an urgent need to mop up more revenue. However, they may not agree to Rs 160 per month. Some of the BJP corporators said they could agree for Rs 100 per month.

In 66-member BMC general council, the BJP has 40 members. So, the consent of the BJP corproators would be vital to approve this proposal. Earlier, Minister for Commerce when asked, Leader of BJP corporators Ashok Pandey said a meeting was held in this regard on Tuesday.

He said that it is quite likely that the BJP would not outright reject the proposal. Other senior BJP corporator Alok Sanjar also said the expenditure on water supply has been increasing so the proposal should not be rejected. However, the final decision in this regard would be taken only after the discussion with the BJP corporators, he added.

On the other hand, Mayor-in-Council (MiC) member Mohammed Sarwar said there should be consent among all corporators on the issue. He said the proposal should be forwarded to the BMC council only after the joint meeting of BJP and Congress corporators.