Move to collect levy on a par with other parts of city approved

Residents in the five newly added wards of the city would have to shell out more towards water tax, on a par with those in the other parts of the Corporation.

The Tiruchi Corporation Council recently approved the levy of water tax, at the existing rate in force in the other 60 wards, in the five new wards too.

The new wards were under the Tiruverumbur town panchayat, and Pappakurichi, Ellakudi, Keezha Kalkandarkottai, and Alathur panchayats that were merged with Tiruchi Corporation following delimitation last year. The wards are spread over Golden Rock and Ariyamangalam zones in the city now.

Residents in these fast developing areas were hitherto paying water tax at much lower rates as prescribed by the erstwhile town panchayat and panchayats. As per the official resolution approved by the council, a water tax of Rs.100 (the current rate of the levy in force in the city) would be collected from residents in the five wards with retrospective effect from October 1, 2012. Charges for new water connections in the five wards would also be collected as per the existing rate in the city. This entails a steep rise in the levy for the residents in the five wards. For instance, residents in the erstwhile Ellakudi panchayat limits were paying just Rs.30 a month towards water tax.

The residents would have to shell a higher tax, even though the Corporation is yet to increase the quantity of water supply to their areas on a par with the other parts of the city. Currently, the five wards are provided a per capita water supply of 70 litres a day but the supply is said to be unequal. Corporation officials say that they have increased the supply to 90 litres a day through 50 PVC tanks placed across the wards. These tanks are regularly being filled up by Corporation water tankers, they said.

However, officials say that they have already initiated steps to implement a new water scheme for the five new wards. The drinking water supply augmentation scheme currently under execution in the city at an investment of Rs.221.42 crore with assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency, was designed prior to the merger of the civic bodies.

Though the five wards are currently served by two combined drinking water schemes from Tiruverumbur and Ellakudi areas, the new water scheme is intended to increase the per capita water supply to 135 litres a day in line with the norms of Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation of Union Urban Development Ministry.

A consultant is to be appointed to design a new water project and prepare the detailed project estimate.

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