After Monday’s power tariff hike, citizens should prepare for a hike in water rates too. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss a “feasible” increase in water tariff.
BWSSB chairperson M.S. Ravishankar told The Hindu on Tuesday that a hike is imminent. “A decision could not be taken due to the elections. Following Monday’s hike in power tariff, it has become inevitable for us to come out with a formula to make ends meet,” he said.
He said the proposal does not require the State government’s approval. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had in November directed the Board to take a decision on this issue.
Water charges have not been hiked since 2005 although electricity tariff was raised at least nine times. “While our monthly expenditure stands at Rs. 75 crore, our revenue is Rs. 50 crore. Our annual power bill has gone up from Rs. 220 crore in 2005 to Rs. 374 crore now,” he said.
Mr Ravishankar refused to reveal the quantum of the proposed hike. A “reasonable and feasible” hike would be needed to ensure that the Board gets adequate revenue to meet its requirements.
Sources said the Board is proposing a reduction in the number of slabs from eight to five for both domestic and non-domestic connections. The minimum slab of 0-8,000 litres is likely to be revised to 0-6,000 litres. That apart, the minimum rate for a kilolitre of water is likely to be hiked from Rs. 6 to Rs. 10.
Besides the tariff revision in 2002, the minimum slab of 0-15,000 litres for domestic connections was changed to 0-8,000 litres in February 2005.