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BWSSB pins hopes on fund flow after DKS' tariff revision proposal

While Shivakumar and BWSSB Chairman Ramprasat Manohar V stated that they have not yet analysed the financial situation of the board to determine the necessary extent of the tariff revision, sources within the BWSSB indicated that they were hoping for a tariff increase of 10% to 15%.
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 22:39 IST

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Bengaluru: Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar's suggestion of a possible water tariff increase in Bengaluru has reignited hopes among BWSSB officials of finding resources as they struggle with a lack of funds for new projects.

While Shivakumar and BWSSB Chairman Ramprasat Manohar V stated that they have not yet analysed the financial situation of the board to determine the necessary extent of the tariff revision, sources within the BWSSB indicated that they were hoping for a tariff increase of 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

"Our last proposal in 2018-19, pending with the government, sought at least 10 per cent hike in residential tariff and 15 per cent for commercial establishments,” said a senior BWSSB official, hoping that the government will keep this as a minimum rate of increase.

The model 

Sources told DH that the government is considering a dynamic revision model where the water bill will be increased depending on power and maintenance charges. The water board's maintenance and operational expenses increase with higher power tariffs. So, when the power tariff spikes, the board’s expenses also increase.

“An automatic dynamic revision system is the best to avoid financial burden on the board,” a source said.

Before the Lok Sabha elections, Shivakumar also hinted at the dynamic revision model, saying bus fares are generally increased based on fuel price hike. “We may have to think on those lines even for the BWSSB tariff revision,” he had said.

Senior BWSSB officials said the revision will alleviate its financial burdens and help undertake new projects. “Every time we think of a new project, we should also think about ways to generate funds since the board’s revenue barely covers operational and maintenance costs,” said another senior official.

However, the news has sparked discussions about the BWSSB’s efficiency and alternative options it could have considered instead of a tariff hike.

Residents concerned

Residents said the board should cut illegal water connections and leakages instead of a tariff hike.

"In many instances, we have seen BWSSB officials allowing illegal connections by accepting bribes. Senior officials must hold them accountable and tighten the system. This would easily improve revenue collection,” said Vinay K, a resident of KR Puram.

Rajajinagar resident Asha B also believed that the BWSSB can plug leakages and improve its revenue. “Increased water tariff will only burden the society. Instead, the BWSSB should improve efficiency by plugging leakages. This would save large amount of water,” she said.

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Published 19 June 2024, 22:39 IST

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