Special Correspondent

Board for increase in water tariff to overcome financial crisis

  • "There will be no hike and no segment shall be burdened," says Chief Minister
  • Agrees to provide a special annual grant of about Rs. 50 crores
  • Board to approach Japanese bank for loan to improve water, sewerage infrastructure

    HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Tuesday shot down a proposal mooted by the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) to increase the water tariff for tiding over its financial crisis.

    "There will be no hike and no segment shall be burdened," he said at the annual board meeting of the water board here.

    The Chief Minister, who is also the chairman of the HMWSSB, however, agreed to provide the water board with a special annual grant of about Rs. 50 crores to help it meet the financial shortfall. This would be by way of sharing a portion of development charges accruing to the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority, Cyberabad Development Authority and Hyderabad Airport Development Authority.

    Modalities

    While the board sought subsidises on power charges, Dr. Reddy came up with the special grant and wanted the officials to make do with "a little support from Government," HMWSSB Managing Director K.S. Jawahar Reddy and Director, Finance, G.K. Rao said. The Municipal Administration department would work out the modalities of the grant.

    The board budget for 2005-06 was approved with a deficit of Rs. 49.3 crores. While the income was put at Rs. 329.50 crores, the expenditure was Rs. 378.80 crores.When officials pointed out at the `exorbitant road cutting charges' of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, the Chief Minister directed officials to reduce it by 50 per cent on a cost-to-cost basis and the "amount thus saved diverted for development of water and sewerage infrastructure of the city". The Board also agreed to approach the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation to procure loan for improving the water and sewerage infrastructure of the city. Dr. Reddy cleared a Rs. 18-crore proposal for construction of a new administrative complex for the water board on its existing premises in public-private partnership mode.

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