Karnataka

AAP flays move to hike water tariff

The Mysuru City Corporation’s reported move to go for a hike in water tariff has come under flak with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Mysuru questioning the rationale behind the proposed hike when it was unable to provide efficient service to the consumers with the promise of 24 x 7 distribution remaining unfulfilled since over a decade.

“After the park and crematorium tax, common people will be further burdened if the water tariff was hiked. Increasing the tax is always an easy way out and seems to be the first option for the MCC, particularly to cover up its alleged lapses. Elected councillors should not allow this to happen,” the AAP said in a statement here on Monday.

When water tariff was doubled during the JNNURM project (2007-2012), citizens were promised 24 x 7 water supply. This did not become a reality and citizens never got 24-hour water supply even for one day in the last decade. Moreover, the MCC added a 30 percent UGD cess to the tariff, said AAP Mysuru president Malavika Gubbivani.

The AAP has raised several questions and sought answers to them from the MCC. They include: Will the MCC promise to provide 24x7 distribution in all areas, promising quality water supply? Is the MCC serious about stopping water thefts? How much bulk water does the MCC draw from Kabini, Cauvery and other sources and how much of it is actually billed to users? Will the MCC disclose how many illegal connections still existed and how many had been disconnected?

Instead of going for a hike, the MCC should focus on recovering the water bill dues from the consumers. The poor tax collection should not become a burden on those who promptly pay their taxes, she argued.

“Water bill collection has to be better managed. The MCC should look at improving the tax collection and let the citizens know how it plans to do it. The MCC’s inept tax collection is being compensated by burdening the common people. This is the main reason why the water bill dues are now running into several crores of rupees,” the statement said.

Ms. Malavika said that Delhi AAP government is giving 20,000 litres of water per month free for every household. Any usage above 20,000 litres attracts fee for the entire amount of water consumed. This has resulted in people conserving water. The Delhi Jal Board has managed to stop water theft as well. Now, the department is earning profit, she claimed.

The BJP has now promised free water to all in its manifesto for the elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The Karnataka government and the MCC should adopt a similar model and make water free and increase the fee for only those who consume beyond specified limits, the AAP suggested.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 6:59:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/aap-flays-move-to-hike-water-tariff/article33214778.ece

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