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Updated: March 9, 2014 23:18 IST

Water defaulters fall in ‘line’

Yunus Y. Lasania
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The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has received around 1,000 applications so far in response to its appeal to regularise illegal water connections under the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS) before the end of this month.

Officials informed that about 20 per cent of them are from slum areas, while many have come from the old city as well.

HMWSSB officials also said that around 700 to 800 customers have also settled their dues without paying any interest, as part of the ‘one-time settlement of dues with complete interest waiver’ scheme, available until March, after which water supply will be disconnected and action taken against defaulters.

“Though there is response from people, we also need to check the veracity of customers, mainly in the regularisation of illegal connections,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.

The official explained that the water board cannot simply take applications, as customers may lie about details of their connections, due to which scrutiny at ground level is a must.

“We are yet to check the exact numbers. The process will take time, and there is still time for more people to approach us,” he said.

The two schemes of regularising illegal connections and clearing off dues without interest were initiated in mid-February. Water Board reckons that there are two lakh customers with outstanding dues, amounting to Rs.200 crore, on which there is the added interest of Rs.90 crore.

“With the one-time settlement option, we are making it easier for people. There is still time, and many are approaching us just to enquire how to settle things,” he added.

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