Following the budgetary proposal announcing that the water tariff in Bangalore will be “rationalised” and increased, officials from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) are working on drafting new slabs for fixing the tariff.
Sources in the board told The Hindu on Saturday the idea was to reduce the number of slabs from eight to three for both domestic and non-domestic connections. “Although the water charges will be different for both these categories, we plan to have common slabs for both,” the sources said.
“A team of engineers and officials from the BWSSB’s finance wing have been put on the job of reworking the slabs. We had already started preparing a new proposal and now that we have learnt of the government’s intention to permit a hike, we will intensify the exercise. But we are still not sure when the hike will be announced,” sources said.
Meanwhile, as is the usual practice, the proposal to hike is likely to be opposed by the city MLAs.
“We do not know how viable it will be for a hike at this juncture, especially when the Congress has come to power after nine years in the State. Also, with Lok Sabha elections round the corner, announcing a hike may not be in favour of the ruling government. We will oppose it when it comes up for discussion in the Cabinet,” a city MLA, who is also a Minister, told The Hindu.
Pros and cons
However, the Minister also went on to add that the government was aware that the board was facing a severe financial crunch. “According to officials, the board is spending Rs. 33 crore on power charges alone. It is fair enough on their part to seek a hike after so many hikes in the power tariff. But, we have to look at the pros and cons of announcing a hike at this juncture,” the Minister added.