The Director Board of Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has approved a proposal for revision of water tariff with increase in rates ranging from 20 per cent to 150 per cent. The highest rates of increase will apply to consumers on the lower slabs.

The minimum charge for domestic consumers is proposed to be hiked to Rs.100 a month. This will mean a five-fold increase for those consuming up to five kilolitres a month and paying Rs.20 as minimum charge now.

The tariff a kilolitre of water is proposed to be raised to Rs.10 for consumption of up to 20 kilolitres a month. These categories of consumers are now paying rates ranging from Rs.4 to Rs.6 a kilolitre. (Families living below poverty line get up to 10 kilolitres of water free of charge.)

The new rates proposed for consumers using 20 to 30 kilolitres of water a month is Rs.14 for every kilolitre of water used in excess of 20 kilolitres (in addition to Rs.200 for 20 kilolitres). The rates are proposed to be increased to Rs.18 a kilolitre for consumption in the range of 30 to 40 kilolitres a month and Rs.25 a kilolitre for consumption in the range of 40 to 50 kilolitres a month. For consumption in excess of 50 kilolitres a month, the proposed rate is Rs.35 a kilolitre.

Non-domestic consumers using up to 15 kilolitres are proposed to be billed at Rs.20 a kilolitre with minimum charge of Rs.200. For consumption between 15 to 50 kilolitres a month, the new rate proposed is Rs.25 a kilolitre. The rate is proposed to be Rs.35 a kilolitre for consumption of 50 kilolitres a month or more.

For industrial consumers, the rate proposed is Rs.35 a kilolitre of water against the present rate of Rs.25 a kilolitre. The minimum charge will be Rs.300.

The KWA has submitted the proposal to the government and the proposal will have to go before the Cabinet for approval. It has also proposed that the rate per tap for rural hydrants may be increased from Rs.3,500 to Rs.4,350 a year. For taps in the urban areas, the rate is proposed to be raised from Rs.5,256 to Rs.6,570 a year.