It's a real eye opener. Facts about the Water Board not only raises eyebrows but also makes one miss a heart beat. Try digesting this fact: the City has 7.80 lakh connections but only half of the consumers pay up.
Surprisingly not all the 7.80 lakh connections have Consumer Account Numbers (CANs) without which it is not possible to generate bills. So the Board bills only 7.5 lakh connections.
Another interesting fact is only 4 lakh connections are metered. Of this just 1.21 lakh meters are in functioning mode. The rest are either under repair or premises reported ‘locked'. The slums have 1.5 lakh connections but they are again unmetered. Same is the case with the surrounding municipalities which have 1 lakh connections.
The revenue leakage is obvious. The Board's monthly earnings range between Rs. 32 to 33 crore.
During the recent strike period it plummeted by Rs. 3 crore. Earlier this figure never crossed the Rs. 25 crore mark.
Officials admit that 95 per cent customers pay their electricity bills and 80 per cent the property tax regularly. But when it comes to Water Board it is just 40 percent who pay up.
The defaulters summery shows that 73,000 consumers have not paid their bills for years. There are also many big defaulters and the arrears run into several crores of rupees – enough to fund a project, it is said
Just by replacing the non functional meters the Board stands to gain an additional Rs. 1 crore per month. But somehow it has now been able to do that.
Non-functioning, faulty and buried meters are the bane of Water Board.
Most of the meters are fixed somewhere down the sumps and often the meter readers do not take the trouble of recording the correct reading. They either say meter is not working or simply levy the minimum charge.