Water Board incurs loss to the tune of Rs. 20 crore every month, which can be avoided by addressing issues such as transmission losses and unpaid bills, feels FGG

Can the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) emulate the Delhi government’s latest initiative of providing assured water supply to citizens? A study conducted by Forum for Good Governance (FGG) points out that assured water supply need not be a pipe dream, provided the Water Board takes a few measures.

The HMWS&SB can improve water supply by taking steps like plugging transmission losses and recovering pending dues, M. Padmanabha Reddy, secretary, FGG, said on Thursday. He added that the board’s losses could be reduced by converting its power supply category from ‘commercial’ tariff to ‘domestic’ tariff.

“According to international standards, each person should be provided with 135 litres of drinking water per day. In our city, this requirement would be around just 80 litres per day, and this can be easily provided by the Water Board,” he said. According to 2009 G.O No. 461, the civic authorities should return close to Rs. 400 crore, which amounts to 25 per cent of the property tax collected, to the Water Board. “This amount is enough to pull the board out of its losses,” he pointed out.

The Water Board incurs a loss of nearly Rs. 20 crore every month, thanks to transmission losses and unpaid bills, and by plugging this leak, it can increase its revenue, FGG vice-president Rao Chelikani said. Mr. Chelikani alleged that lack of professionalism in the functioning of the board was resulting in its inability to provide equitable and assured supply of quality water. The board should create proper infrastructure to gear up for summer, he said. Forum joint secretary S. Srinivasa Reddy and representatives from colonies were present.

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