KWA submits proposal for tariff revision to Cabinet
The water bill is likely to go up with the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) submitting a proposal to the Cabinet to revise the tariffs for all categories of consumers.
The authority wants to increase the tariff by 15 per cent every year to be financially sustainable within five years to seven years. The tariff for domestic consumers was last revised in 1999 and for other categories in 2008.
The proposal is for a 100 per cent increase. For domestic consumers in the 0-5 kilolitre and 5-10 kilolitre consumption categories, now charged Rs. 20 as the minimum tariff and Rs. 4 a kl for excess consumption, the proposal is to collect Rs. 40 and Rs. 8 a kl.
Those in the 10-20 kl category, paying Rs. 40 and Rs. 5 a kl, will have to pay Rs. 90 and Rs. 12 a kl, if the proposal is approved as it is.
For non-domestic consumers in the 0-15 kl category, at present paying Rs. 125 and Rs. 10 a kl, the new charges will be Rs. 20 a kl till 10 kl. Consumers in the 10-30 kl category will have to pay Rs. 200 and Rs. 28 a kl.
Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph told The Hindu that periodic revision of the tariff had become inevitable, and though the increase might not be to the levels proposed by the KWA, the tariffs would be revised in all probability. The Cabinet would examine the proposal and decide on it without delay.
The KWA wants to increase the yearly rates for public taps to Rs. 5,250 from Rs. 3,500 in rural areas and to Rs. 7,884 from Rs. 5,256 in urban areas, which work out to an increase of about Rs. 2 a kl.
The proposal says the revision is necessary because the anticipated gap between the average cost and average returns of the utility is expected to go up from Rs. 4.73 a unit in 2012-2013 to Rs. 6.58 in 2013-2014, taking the overall deficit for 2013-14 to Rs. 312.22 crore (Rs. 204.58 crore in 2012-2013). With the non-Plan grant not commensurate with the deficit caused by subsidy, the rising power bills and so on, the gap has widened.
By increasing efficiency, revenue is expected to jump only 10 per cent.
The additional income expected from the tariff revision will be Rs. 310.83 crore a year.