It will be discussed in the HDMC council meeting on Thursday

The proposal to revise water tariff in the twin cities is likely to trigger a heated debate when it comes up for discussion during the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation council meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday.

It may be recalled that the council had put off taking a decision on the proposal during the council meeting on April 30.

At the meeting, council members, cutting across party lines, had opposed the proposal and demanded that it be dropped immediately as it would be an additional burden on residents.

In fact, Mayor Pandurang Patil had said that the proposal could be considered by the council only after steps were taken to provide drinking water regularly to residents, and they came forward to install metres for water supply connections.

As per the agenda copy of the council meeting, the proposal is being referred to the council again as there was a need to implement the Government Order dated July 20, 2011.

This order would enable the corporation to get 40 per cent grants for water supply work and 50 per cent grants for underground drainage work.

Tariff at present

Presently, the residents of Hubli and Dharwad pay Rs. 90 for 15,000 litres of water a month. Depending on water usage in addition to the 15,000 litres, the residents will be charged based on a slab.

Under the proposed revision, residents will have to pay Rs. 56 per domestic connection, Rs. 112 for non-domestic connection and Rs. 224 for commercial and industrial connections.

Although it appears like an exercise aimed at bringing down the water tariff, in reality it is not so, because residents will now get only 8,000 litres of water for the Rs. 56 they pay.

As per the proposal, for additional usage above 8,000 litres and up to 15,000 litres per month, Rs. 9 per 1,000 litres will be charged. The tariff will be Rs. 11 per 1,000 litres after that.

Additional charge

That means that if the residents utilise 15,000 litres of water, then they will have to pay Rs. 29 extra (Rs. 119- Rs. 90) than the Rs. 90 they presently pay for Rs. 15,000 litres of water.

As per the proposal, residents with non-metered water supply connections will have to pay Rs. 175 per month as against Rs. 90, which is being collected from them irrespective of the quantity of water they utilise.

Similarly, the tariff for non-metered non-domestic connections is Rs. 350 and Rs. 700 for non-metered commercial and industrial connections, as per the proposal.

Displeasure

While the Opposition parties have expressed their displeasure over the proposal, it remains to be seen what stand the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which opposed the proposal earlier, will take.

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