March 25, 2021 9:30:00 am
There will be a loss of Rs 48 crore if roll back of water tariff hike is done, officers have told the Chandigarh Administration on the decision of roll back made by the General House earlier this month.
Councillors had resolved in the General House that there be a roll back of previous notification in water tariff which called for a 200 per cent hike. However, residents are still getting inflated water bills.
After the House’s decision, the financial implications were chalked out. It has been stated to the administration that with the present water tariff (hiked rates), the civic body is earning an amount of Rs 158 crore annually and after the roll back, they will make a revenue of Rs 110 crore.
Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav said, “If we see the calculations made by our staff, there will be a loss of approximately Rs 48 crore if roll back is done, and that is huge. There is a substantial reduction of revenue and all aspects have to be seen. So we have just sent the financial implications also to the administration.”
On the observation of the House of reducing sewerage cess from 30 per cent to 5 per cent, Commissioner Yadav said, “This I had informed in the House too that from 30 per cent to 5 per cent, this is too less.”
It was the second time that the General House of Municipal Corporation had on March 9 resolved to roll back water tariff hike.
It was after a gap of six months that again this decision was taken as the UT Administration had asked them to reconsider their decision.
It was resolved by the councillors that at least till the time COVID period is on, 2011 rates may be in force and after the pandemic is over, restructuring of two slabs be done along with reduction in sewerage cess.
The House had stated that after COVID period is over, new rates be applicable but with reduction in rates of two slabs, that is in slab of 31- 60 KL, the rate be reduced from Rs 12 per KL to Rs 9 per KL. In the slab of above 60 KL, the rate be reduced from Rs 24 per KL to Rs 16 per KL. It was also resolved that sewerage cess be reduced from 30 per cent to 5 per cent.
The BJP councillors had said in the House that people have been getting high rates. However, the Congress had said that it was the BJP itself which hiked the rates and “now they were pretending to understand the pain of people”.
Officials have also prepared details that the revised water tariff was enforced on September 14, 2020, and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is incurring an expenditure of Rs 215 crore per year on water supply and sewerage at present.
The Chief Engineer had also mentioned before the General House that Municipal Corporation is incurring Rs 215 crore on maintenance of water supply and sewage facilities to Chandigarh and 22 villages are also under the control of the Municipal Corporation.
Of the break-up of Rs 215 crore, it was said that around Rs 36 crore are in totality incurred on salaries while Rs 56 crore are incurred on wages. Along with this, Rs 14 crore are incurred on office contingency while Rs 86 crore are spent on payment of electricity bills in respect of tubewells or Kajauli waterworks while Rs 35 crore are incurred on minor works.
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