MP urges Mayor not to hike drinking water tariff

Even as drinking water dues continue to mount and appeals from the cash-strapped Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) for clearing the same remain ignored, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha has urged Mayor Sunanda Palanetra not to hike tariff for drinking water and to waive off interest accrued on the principal amount of water tax for one-time settlement of dues.

In a letter to the Mayor, the MP said he would personally appeal to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for the waiver of interest on the water dues if the MCC does not have powers to waive off interest accumulated on the bills. A proposal was sent to the State government for suitable after a decision on the waiver in the MCC council meeting.

The MP said he has learnt that the MCC is mulling over increasing the tariff on drinking water distribution. Instead of going for revision of rates, the MCC should consider installing meters to every connection in the city and taking strict steps so that the consumers pay bills regularly. Besides bringing revenue to the MCC, it also reduces burden on those who are regularly paying bills, he opined.

The MP said the unpaid water bills have accrued to the tune of ₹219 crore, including ₹146 crore of principal amount and ₹73.6 crore interest accrued on the principal amount.

In one of the meetings of MCC council, it was told that ₹88 crore was carried forward to the MCC’s account after the Vani Vilas Water Works (VVWW), an arm of KUWSDB, was identified to manage water distribution here on behalf of MCC. The same meeting was told that the government institutions alone owe ₹39.32 crore of water bill dues to the MCC besides ₹19 crore water dues by Gram Panchayats abutting Mysuru city and the localities coming under the MCC.

The MCC had earlier written to the State government seeking its nod to waive off interest accrued on the principal amount of water tax for one-time settlement of dues. Besides helping the MCC get more revenue, the consumers would be getting relief from paying the interest, the MCC had argued. However, the government did not consider its request.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 6:47:36 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mp-urges-mayor-not-to-hike-drinking-water-tariff/article38283448.ece