After power tariff shock, brace for hike in water charges

Last Updated 13 May 2014, 21:22 IST

The meeting of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to be held here on Wednesday is likely to take a decision on increasing the water tariff.

The meeting has been convened following the State government’s instructions that a decision on water tariff hike should be taken only after discussing the issue at the board meeting.

BWSSB chairman M S Ravishankar told Deccan Herald on Tuesday, “The water tariff was hiked in 2002. In 2005, there was revision in a few places. Thereafter, there has been no revision in tariff. Due to this, the financial burden on BWSSB has increased. Also, there has been a hike in power tariff. We will ensure that people are not burdened much.”

7.2 lakh consumers

The Board caters to 7.2 lakh people across the City, supplying over 1,200 million litres daily. In addition, 60,000 people avail water supplied by BWSSB through tankers. According to instructions by the High Court, 110 villages are being provided free drinking water facility. With growing demand each year, the Board is said to be facing an annual loss of Rs 200 crore.

Maintenance costs up

“The BWSSB’s monthly revenue is Rs 45 crore. Electricity bills account for about Rs 20 crore of the expenditure. Even the maintenance costs are going up,” Ravishankar said, adding that a decision on hiking the charges would be taken in the meeting and sent to the chief minister for approval.

It has been proposed to introduce a four-stage tariff. The minimum chargeable consumption will be reduced to 0-6,000 litres from the existing 0-8,000 litres, according to sources in the Board.

There was a proposal earlier to hike the water tariffs. However, due to the Lok Sabha elections, approval was not given for the same.

(Published 13 May 2014, 20:46 IST)

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