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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Waste collection: Hefty charges cause confusion among Chandigarh residents

Those staying in the city for a short period and residents with several kitchens to pay cumulative charges: MOH

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 5, 2021 3:09:53 am
The civic body officials here have received over 200 complaints by residents who have been charged over Rs 4,000 a month for waste collection.

Amid confusion over bills with hefty waste collection charges received by the city residents, Chandigarh Medical Officer of Health Dr Amrit Warring stated that the people coming to their UT residence for a short stay and those who have several kitchens will need to pay the cumulative waste collection charges. The civic body officials here have received over 200 complaints by residents who have been charged over Rs 4,000 a month for waste collection.

“Of the total 200 complainants, 150 of them had their second house in Chandigarh and said that they come to the city for few days only and dump waste only on those days. This way everyone will say that they won’t pay the charges because they were off for a vacation for 15 days and dumped garbage only on one day,” Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Dr Warring told The Indian Express.

He said that all plaints have been resolved and in at least 50 of them, the amount has been corrected or reduced owing to the present situation of no paying guest or tenants living in these houses, as the owners informed the officials. “We want to make it clear that people will have to pay the waste charges according to the kitchen. Residents are feeling the charges more because it is per kitchen and it will be cumulative. For example, if I have three kitchens in the house—one mine, one separate kitchen of my brother and one by my tenant, so for a month my charges are going to be Rs 900 (if I take Rs 300 per kitchen) and for three months, they are Rs 2,700. It is the cumulative amount where the people are feeling the pinch,” the MOH said.

There are 2.50 lakh kitchens in Chandigarh at the moment, as per the record with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

However, the city residents stated they have been charged hefty amounts without proper calculation. The residents said that it came as a shock that they were billed over Rs 4,000 as waste collection charges in water bills.

Ajay Jagga, former member of District Consumer Protection Council, Chandigarh Administration, also wrote a communique to MC Commissioner KK Yadav after he received garbage collection charges of Rs 2,500. “We have received the water bills for the period commencing from March 31 to May 31, which has an additional/new levy of charges under the name of garbage charges. We are amazed to find these charges, perhaps these charges are levied for first time on the consumers. Anyway, as consumers we would like to know the tariff of these charges, as to how these charges are computed, so that consumers can be sure that charges are rightly levied/computed, as per approved tariff. In fact the notification for levy and tariff should have been annexed with the latest Waters Bill, to avoid such clarifications issues,” he specified.

He added, “My water bill for two months has a levy of Rs. 2500 as Garbage Charges, whereas we have no idea, as to what are approved rates and how these charges have been computed while adding in the bill. Hence, you are requested to issue instruction to staff to release the tariff and the process of approval of tariff, for transparency and for the understanding of the consumers, for better coordination and cooperation. Till circulation, the MC may place it on the website of the corporation, so that the consumers, who are curious to know can have this information and make timely payment of bills. Hope this will help in faster collection of revenue for MC.”

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