BMC slashes water charges for gyms in housing societies
The decision is set to reduce water costs for in-house gyms at residential societies by more than 90% as they will now be charged as per the residential tariffs, as not the commercial water tariffs that were charged earlier.Updated: Aug 16, 2019 10:23 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee on Wednesday approved a proposal to slash water charges for fitness centres in residential societies. The decision is set to reduce water costs for in-house gyms at residential societies by more than 90% as they will now be charged as per the residential tariffs, as not the commercial water tariffs that were charged earlier.
Ashok Kumar Tawadiya, deputy municipal commissioner, who handles the hydraulic engineering department, said the proposal will be implemented immediately. “The BMC charges commercial establishments ₹55.77 for every thousand litres and ₹5.9 for residential purposes for every thousand litres,” he said. Ganesh Khankar, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) nominated councillor, who had been following up this issue, said, “I got to know about this issue after a few society members complained. It is unfair to charge as per commercial charges as the gyms are hardly used by society members. They are not using it for any commercial gain. After a few meetings with officials, the proposal was finally passed by the standing committee.”
Khankar said that most societies which were redeveloped got free floor space index (FSI) for fitness centres.
“These fitness centres do not have a separate water meter and so the water charges are collected pro-rata, without exact estimation, as per the total water charge of the society. Currently, if a society pays ₹3 lakh to ₹3.5 lakh for water charges, ₹35,000 to ₹40, 000 is the water charge for a gym alone. With this proposal, this charge will come down to less than ₹1,000,” he said. Praveen Darade, additional municipal commissioner, who heads the hydraulic engineering department, said, “We have not yet estimated the loss in income and we working on it.”
First Published: Aug 16, 2019 00:02 IST