The citizens, including home-makers and senior members of the society under the banner of Citizens' Forum, Belgaum, on Thursday marched to Belgaum City Corporation (BCC) and vehemently opposed latter's decision to increase drinking water rates in respect of 24x7 drinking water supply scheme in the city.

The forum described the decision to increase the water tariff as unreasonable, unaffordable, illogical, unscientific, irrational, unethical and totally unjustifiable and demanded the corporation to withdraw this “unacceptable” rates and restore previous rates with immediate effect. Failing to revert the increase, they will be forced to launch an intensified agitation.

Forum members Anil Deshpande, Praveen Narse, Chandrakant Dorkadi and V.S. Kulkarni, who led the protest, submitted a memorandum to the corporation Commissioner, S.G. Patil, in support of the demand. The memorandum was signed by another 150 residents from different localities and representing different sections of society.

The forum members said the corporation had resorted to extract more money from the pockets of hapless residents by way of suddenly increasing water tariff for domestic supplies instead of preventing pilferage.

As against the existing tariff, where the minimum monthly charges per connection was Rs. 83 for a maximum usage of 15,000 litres and an additional Rs. 5.60/1,000 litres, the residents have to pay Rs. 48 for 8,000 litres and Rs. 104 for 15,000 litres a month.

Similarly, for different slabs of usages, the corporation has increased price by Rs. 21 to Rs. 1,005 a month.

For commercial connections, the minimum increase is Rs. 566.66 and the maximum is Rs. 4,086.66 for usages between 37,500 litres to 1,00,000 litres a month.

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