'Water tariff hike inevitable in Bangalore'

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told the Council on Thursday that a hike in water tariffs was inevitable in the City to ensure the survival of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

“Since 2005, the BWSSB has not increased water tariffs. If tariffs are not revised, the Board will drown in its debts,” said Siddaramaiah, who is also the minister in-charge of BWSSB. He said the proposal to increase the water tariffs is before the Board, which will take a final decision soon. Replying to questions by BJP’s Bharati Shetty over the proposed water tariff hike, despite BWSSB not being able to plug the loopholes in collection, Siddaramaiah said the Board was in the process of addressing the concerns. He admitted that the BWSSB is losing revenue for 48 per cent of water supplied in City, due to illegal connections.

Out of 1.33 lakh households with water and sanitary connections under the Greater Bangalore Water and Sanitation Project, meters have been installed for only 87,761. The Board has entrusted L&T with the task of identifying illegal water connections for its disconnection drive.

The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Siddaramaiah said a separate disconnection squad has been set up for cutting off illegal water connections. It is contemplating a one-time fee for legalising illegal connections.

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