HomeLatestAmid the agenda of ‘freebies’, MC hikes water tariff in Chandigarh

Amid the agenda of ‘freebies’, MC hikes water tariff in Chandigarh

HomeLatestAmid the agenda of ‘freebies’, MC hikes water tariff in Chandigarh

Amid the agenda of ‘freebies’, MC hikes water tariff in Chandigarh

The city beautiful has around 1.52 lakh residential water consumers. Water, which is the basic-necessity of every human being, should not be deprived for anyone. Whether chargeable or free, everyone has right to access the safe and clean water. Keeping this viewpoint in mind, the AAP’s Mayor Kuldeep Kumar decided to provide 20,000 liters of free water to every household. This decision blew the breeze of relief among the residents. The consumers, including honest tax payers, are already tired of high sewerage cess bills and water tariff in Chandigarh.

Kuldeep Kumar and Banwarilal Purohit

But, a day after the General House gave its approval to the agenda of providing 20,000 liters of free water to every family of Chandigarh, Administrator Banwarilal Purohit turned it down stating that free water is not possible. The Administration informs the residents about the annual hike of water tariff in Chandigarh as per the bylaws approved in 2022.

Overview of hike in water tariff in Chandigarh

In between then going debate for free water among UT Administration and Mayor, the Municipal Corporation has issued an order to increase the water tariff in Chandigarh by 5%. The change in rates will be observed from upcoming financial year i.e. 1st April 2024 to 2025. According to the MC’s view, the hike had been carried out keeping in view the losses. “To ensure that there is not a big gap in spending and income in future, a small annual increase has been mandated”, they said.

From April 1, residents will have to shell out more for water with 5 percent. As per bylaws approved in 2022, annual recurring increase in water charges are coming into effect.

water tariff in Chandigarh

Aam Aadmi Party and Congress alliance Mayor Kuldeep Kumar Tita had approved free water of 20,000 litres to every family. Meanwhile the Punjab Governor, Banwarilal Purohit informed that these “freebies” are not possible. Purohit stated, “I won’t approve the proposal for free water. How can we give free water in Chandigarh when we have already signed loan agreement for 15 years for the 24×7 water project?”

The Governor referred to the agreement signed between the MC and French government’s Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD). The total cost of 24×7 water project is estimated as Rs 510 crore. Out of which Rs 412 crore is been provided by AFD in the form of loan, which is to be paid in 15 years. The city will have to pay Rs 40 crore annually to AFD and the repayment of loan will begin after the completion of the project.

Purohit declared the demand of Mayor as financially unviable and not backed by any detailed plan or scheme. The administration stated that the hikes in water tariff in Chandigarh were done after a detailed discussion with all stakeholders and keeping in view the financial interest of the Municipal Corporation of the UT. The Chandigarh Administration told, “rates would be hiked as per the bylaws approved in 2022. The water tariff in Chandigarh in each slab, be it residential, commercial or industrial, will be enhanced by 5 percent. The new rates will be notified soon.”

hike in water rates

The new rates will vary from Rs 3.15 per kilolitre (kl) to Rs 20 per kl depending on the consumption. Currently, these range between Rs 3 per kl and Rs 8 per kl. The residents falling in the 0-15 kl slab will have to pay Rs 3.15 per kl instead of the current Rs 3 per kl.

Chandigarh Congress has expressed their displeasure on the decision made by Banwarilal Purohit, for contemptuously rejecting the public welfare scheme of providing free water to the city residents. They stated that residents were already fed up with the high-water rates. The 5% hike, coupled with the existing 30% sewerage cess on the total water bill is going to add to their woes.

Wrapping Thoughts

The people must forget about free water, instead prepare themselves to shell out more due to increase in water tariff in Chandigarh. Generally, it is the responsibility of the Government itself to provide basic amenities to people for free or at subsidized rates. But Chandigarh government has planned big for the future of the city and its residents. Let’s hope that today’s hike in water rates for residential, commercial or industrial sector should bring some fruitful results in future.

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