Water Board threatens to cut supply to SCB if it fails to clear Rs. 35 crore water bill arrears. The SCB two months ago had agreed to make a part payment of Rs.2 crore towards pending bill arrears and requested more time for clearing the rest.

It couldn’t have come at a time worse than now as the summer has started to peak. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) had issued notice threatening to stop water supply to Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) for not clearing their water bill arrears. This could have direct impact on 4.80 lakh water consumers.

The SCB, which supplies drinking water to cantonment residents by collecting the same from HMWSSB, is saddled with arrears close to a whopping Rs. 35 crore. The HMWSSB authorities are insisting that the SCB pay-up the arrears by this month end or face complete disconnection of water supply.

The SCB two months ago had agreed to make a part payment of Rs.2 crore towards pending bill arrears and requested more time for clearing the rest. According to estimates, monthly water bill of SCB is Rs. 1.27 crore with water board charging Rs. 13.50 per kilolitre.

“The problem started when the water board stopped considering SCB as a municipality. They are considering the SCB as bulk water consumers like industries and are charging according to the rates meant for them. While GHMC pays Rs. 7 for a kilolitre of water to the water board, we at SCB are being made to pay Rs. 13.50 per kilolitre and this is unfair,” SCB officials said.

According to an MOU signed between SCB and HMWSSB, the former has to receive close to 53 lakh gallons of water per day from the latter. According to officials, the SCB has already cleared its water bills at the rate of Rs. 7 per kilolitre. “The water board officials, however, are insisting that we pay the water bills at the rate of Rs. 13.50 per kilolitre. It is very difficult for us to pay up a huge sum of Rs. 35 crore within a few days. Threatening to disconnect water is uncalled for. We are also looking at legal options,” officials maintained.

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