Water tariff in the city might be increased in the near future, particularly for the higher slabs of consumption, Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh indicated at a meeting of the general house of the corporation on Monday.
The councillors complained that although it was the start of the summer season, there were already complaints of shortage of supply and the residents of the upper storeys not receiving adequate water. The councillors raised questions over the steps that the MC was taking to tackle the problem.
The issue of disparity in the consumption of water in the northern and southern sectors was raised. In some of the northern sectors, the consumption of water was from 900 to 1,300 litres per capita every day while it was only around 250 litres per capita per day in most other sectors.
The commissioner said that there was a need for a hike in the water tariff. The corporation was spending Rs 80 crore annually on water supply and maintenance, but earning a revenue of Rs 60 crore.
“The MC is subsidising water and spending Rs 20 crore annually. The benefit is going more to those in the sectors where the water consumption is high. There is a need for increasing water tariff in the higher slabs. The house can constitute a committee to discuss the issue. The minimum water that any person requires should be provided at the same rate.
However, as the consumption increases, so should the tariff. We cannot subsidise both the rich and the poor,” he said.
The commissioner said the supply could not be increased because water availability remained the same. With an increase in tariff, people would check their water usage. This would ensure that water was not wasted and sufficient quantity was available for everyone.
The councillors suggested that the houses with big gardens should be given connection of tertiary-treated water.
Councillor Pardeep Chhhabra stated that with new malls and hotels coming up in the city, the need for water had increased. He suggested that a single-window system be started in order to give permission to the malls and hotels for installing tubewells. Councillor Subhash Chawla highlighted the need for undertaking planning, keeping in view the growing population.
Another issue of concern was that water availability would reduce in the
coming months when the corporation would have to give Panchkula and Chandimandir their share of water after the completion of pipelines to both these places.