After waiving off surcharge fees for water consumers paying bills till March, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is now planning to give massive rebates on pending bills and reduce the water development charge.
While the move is expected to bring relief to residents of Delhi, senior DJB officials said that with a scheme to rationalise pending water bills, this is also expected to raise revenues.
“Water bills of many residential and commercial properties are due for long. In some cases, bills are over several lakhs of rupees. We will review all the pending cases and rationalise their bill by giving major rebates,” Kapil Mishra, AAP MLA and vice-chairman of DJB, said. “These are individual cases where no metre reading had taken place. The DJB will not suffer any losses because these were bad debts. This is in fact a revenue generation exercise,” Mishra added.
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Stating that the DJB is expected to come out with a plan in 15-20 days, Mishra further said, “We have taken feedback from MLAs for this. Each MLA has informed us that there are hundreds of such cases in their constituencies.”
Water supply was one of the key electoral promises made by the AAP during the elections where the party had claimed that citizens were getting “inflated water bills”.
Soon after coming into power in Delhi, AAP had announced 20,000 litres of free water per month to each household and waiver of accumulated late payment surcharges.
The move, the party had claimed, encouraged people to pay their actual arrears as reflected in their current bill.
The DJB is now also planning to reduce the water development charge, which is a one-time fee paid for water connection. “DJB is takes Rs 400 per square yard as a part of the water development charge from residential and commercial establishments. We are planning to reduce it to Rs 100 to make it more economical,” Mishra said.
“ We will ensure that quality water services reach every house in the city.”