At a time when the city is staring at severe water shortage,residents of the cantonments have decided not to pay water bills,which has resulted in arrears worth up to Rs 8 crore from the two cantonments of Dehu Road and Khadki.
The spokesperson of Dehu Road Cantonment Board,N M Mahajani has shifted the blame on to the residents who have defaulted in the payments,and added that the cantonment area does not have any issues of water shortage.
The cantonment board is constituting a special squad to make recoveries and we will disconnect the water supply to those households against whom there are arrears. Of the 3,000 households half have the arrears are pending against them, he said. The arrears pending against people are running into nearly Rs 1.9 crore. Mahajani said the government norm of providing 150 litre per person per day is being met in the cantonment area. We can upgrade the supplies if the people start paying the bills.
The meters have been installed by the residents on their own in the Khadki Cantonment Area. Some of the meters have turned faulty and we have levied the maximum possible charges on the households. The arrears can however come down once the readings are taken against the working meters, said Abbas Patel,PMC Engineer. He said the notices have been issued to a number of residents and many of them have fallen in line,but pointed out that there were still some pockets where from the recovery situation was poor.
However,Khadki cantonment officials said the PMC has not been able to provide the adequate water supply for usage even at the cantonment board offices. The shortage is acute and we have pressed into service the water tankers to supply the water at the cantonment offices including the schools and the hospital, said a cantonment executive engineer,Arun G Godbole.
Patel said the inadequate water supply in certain areas is taken as an excuse by the people to pay the water bills. The locals are refusing to pay the bills as they are not getting adequate water, he said.
Mahajani said the cantonment area has a water facility with a capacity much higher than the daily requirement of the residents. The daily consumption of the residents is 4 MLD,while as our water supply facility has the storage capacity of 16 MLD, he said. He added the residents are supplied water for 4-5 hours a day and that the supply position will also improve once the recoveries start improving.