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Chandigarh MC proposes increasing water tariff by 60% or 95%

The corporation has also proposed an annual increase of 10% to cover increase in maintenance cost every year.

punjab Updated: Jun 26, 2018 14:14 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Chandigarh MC,Chandigarh Municipal Corporation
(Representative Image)

Battered by financial crisis, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) has prepared two revised water tariff slabs to help strengthen its internal resources.

The two slabs, one seeking a “moderate” 60% hike and another seeking an almost double 95% hike in the existing water charges, have been prepared.

MC at present monitors 1.57 lakh water connections in the city of various categories, including residential, industrial, commercial, semi-commercial, institutional, government and semi-government. If approved, the rates will be increased in all categories.

The corporation has also proposed an annual increase of 10% to cover increase in maintenance cost every year.

Sewerage charges, which at present are nominally charged on per seat basis, have been proposed to be increased to a whopping 60% of the total water consumption amount, which if approved will substantially burden city residents.

These proposals will be placed before the MC’s finance and contract committee meeting on Tuesday, and thereafter at the MC House meeting on June 29.

The meeting will be chaired by mayor Davesh Moudgil, who has already expressed apprehension over increasing water charges before introducing 24×7 supply in the city.

In response to the proposed hike, Davesh said the F&CC will only discuss the agenda. “It will be referred to the upcoming General House meeting on June 29 where all members will take a final decision on whether a hike should be introduced, and at what percentage,” the mayor added.

He said all factors including unmetered supply and inflation in maintenance cost needed to be considered before a final call on increasing the water tariff.

Public health dept favours 95% hike

For MC public health department and executives battling poor financial crisis, the revision of water tariff is urgently required to cover the deficit between expenditure and revenues.They favoured a hike of 95% to bring the water supply to a “no-profit and no-loss” stage.

As per their note, maintenance of water supply costs ₹160 crore against the bill collection of ₹78 crore.If the 60% hike slab is followed, MC’s annual collection will increase to ₹125 crore, which will still not meet the annual expenditure. A 95% hike will give them a yearly collection of ₹167 crore, ₹7 crore more than their annual expenditure.

Last revision in 2011

The water tariff has not been revised since 2011. New water bylaws were introduced in 2016, but without any change in rates. An MC official said expenditure on water supply in 2011 at ₹107 crore had now increased to ₹160 crore. Yet not a penny had increased in bill collection.

“Since our expenses have increased 10% annually, the new tariff has been proposed proportionally since 2011,” the official said.

First Published: Jun 26, 2018 14:14 IST