Rates of bulk water may be revised

The Water Resources department is planning an upward revision of rates of bulk water being supplied to industrial, drinking water and irrigation purposes, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said on Monday.

Addressing reporters, Patil said a committee of experts has been constituted to recommend to the government in this regard. Bulk water supply rates were last revised in 2002.

The department has not been able to meet the operation and maintenance cost of the supply from the existing rates. The department is planning to give effect to the revision in a phased manner, he added.

New rates will be fixed based on type of industries and crop pattern for industrial and agricultural purposes respectively. Various urban and rural water supply agencies buy bulk water from the department for supplying it among their consumers.

Different rates will be fixed for each of these agencies, depending on the scheme from which they draw water. The plan is to first revise the rate in places where reservoirs, dams and canals have been modernised recently and where bulk supply is effective, he added.

The minister said the department’s collection of water rates from its consumers, especially from farmers, is far from satisfactory. It was able to collect only Rs 23 crore against the target of Rs 92 crore last year. Farmers are the major defaulters among the three categories. But the expert committee will also look into ways to improve the collection from the consumers, he added.
DH News Service

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