Why pay Rs 48.55 cr for delay in water charges, CAG to housing board
The state housing board has come under the scanner of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its 2010 report for causing unjustified losses of Rs 48.55 crore for late payment of water charges. Sayli Udas Mankikar reports.mumbai Updated: Apr 24, 2011 00:52 IST
The state housing board has come under the scanner of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its 2010 report for causing unjustified losses of Rs 48.55 crore for late payment of water charges.
The payments were delayed for an average period of 44 months - almost four years.
These losses, the report says, are because of delay in payment for water charges, which the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) makes to the municipal corporation on behalf of 1,737 buildings in Mhada colonies. These charges are, in turn, recovered by Mhada from all tenants in the form of service charges.
But, even the amount paid by Mhada and that recovered from its colonies did not tally causing further losses, the report pointed out.
These colonies — they are located in Andheri, Bandra, Chembur, Goregaon, Kandivli, Kurla, Oshiwara and Sion — were to look after the water charges after they formed cooperative societies. But, it did not happen and Mhada kept paying the same.
However, the housing board delayed this payment. It paid a penalty of Rs8.63 crore for tenements in Vikhroli alone, while the balance liability pending as on January 2010 was pegged Rs48.55 crore.
Mhada justified its stand saying that the delay was because of the unavoidable time required to verify bills and arranging funds for the same.
The CAG rapped the housing board officials saying the delays ranged up to 44 months, which is unacceptable, and said the existing practices and procedures needed a review.