MCC may implement the tariff fixed by the government

Domestic water consumers who come under the jurisdiction of Mangalore City Corporation may have to pay the water tariff fixed by the government last year as the civic body is going to take up the proposal, which was buried by its council, again with the government.

Making it clear at a meeting with councillors here on Thursday, the Commissioner of the corporation Harish Kumar K. said that the council had refused to implement the domestic “volumetric tariff” fixed by the government for all city corporations in May last. The Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) had implemented it along with supplying water 24 X 7 in select wards on a pilot basis. Now the Chief Minister had announced special grant to it to extend the round-the-clock water supply to all its wards.

He said that the Mangalore City Corporation had implemented the “volumetric tariff” only for commercial water consumers. It could emulate the HDMC.

The Commissioner said that although the corporation (administration) had repeatedly brought to the notice of the council the need to implement the domestic tariff as the government had issued an order (GO) to this effect, the council was not ready for it. Now, the term of the present council would expire on February 23. The corporation would take up the proposal again with the government once the term of the council ended.

“We will implement the government’s tariff (for domestic consumers) with the approval of the government,” Mr. Kumar told the whip in the council Premananda Shetty.

Mr. Shetty said the council had opposed the government’s tariff as it was exorbitantly high.

Mayor Gulzaar Banu had convened the meeting to review the progress of laying sewer network, construction of vet wells, sewage treatment plants, and laying water supply pipelines and construction of overhead tanks and ground-level tanks under Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) under the jurisdiction of the civic body.

On the administration’s move to renew the proposal buried by the council, Mr. Kumar told The Hindu that councils of urban local bodies did not enjoy powers to overrule a Government Order (GO).

Mr. Kumar said the corporation wanted to go for round the clock water supply. The council had opposed entrusting the supply to any private agency even if the agency was ready to invest on its own to develop additional infrastructure required for it. Hence, the administration wanted to supply water 24 X 7 on its own by availing a loan from a bank.

Before availing the loan, the civic body should be in a position to show its repayment capacity to the bank. Revision of water tariff would be inevitable for it. As the government had fixed the tariff for city corporations the civic body in Mangalore was only striving to implement it.

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