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Water tarrif hike draws flak

Opposing the approach paper of Maharashtra Water Regulatory Authority on determining bulk water tariff,civil society organisations have demanded the revision of the paper while threatening to launch a statewide agitation.

Opposing the approach paper of Maharashtra Water Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) on determining bulk water tariff,civil society organisations have demanded the revision of the paper while threatening to launch a statewide agitation.

“The approach paper,prepared on bulk water tariff regulations,has not adhered to the agreed terms of reference (ToR). Almost 43 per cent of various aspects of ToR have been completely ignored and only 10 per cent of the terms have been completed while the rest have been partially considered,” said Bharat Patankar of Shramik Mukti Dal in a press conference.

The proposal in the approach paper leads to 39 per cent increase in the water tariff for agriculture in the first year and 58 per cent increase in the next three years. Similarly,it proposes 49 per cent increase in water tariff for domestic use in the first year and 74 per cent for the next three years,he said.

The MWRRA is conducting consultation process based on incomplete approach paper,Patankar alleged. “There is widespread fear among the stakeholders that after the current process of consultation initiated based on half-baked approach paper,the MWRRA will directly issue the order for determining final regulations as well as tariff”.

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It was mandatory to prepare the complete approach paper in Marathi,but this condition was not complied with and the consultation process was initiated on the basis of the approach paper prepared in English language,he said.

“The vast majority of farmers and the water users associations were kept in dark about the approach paper,” he said. The consultation meetings by MWRRA will now be held under the incorrect and incomplete approach presented in the paper,said Subodh Wagale of Prayas.

Suhas Paranjpe of Sopeccom said that a statewide agitation will be launched if the MWRRA fails to revise the approach paper before the consultation meeting scheduled in nine places in the state.

First published on: 04-02-2009 at 01:51:36 am
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