The minimum charges on a single connection will be increased to Rs. 300 from the current Rs. 131.
At a time when the common man is unable to bear the burden of rising prices, the state government is preparing to effect a steep hike in water tariff for both domestic and commercial users.
Once the tariff is effective, the minimum charges on a single connection will be increased to Rs. 300 from the current Rs. 131.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had reportedly asked the officials to delay the matter. However, he was convinced by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply And Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) officials that their department is running huge losses and that the increase in water tarrif is imminent.
He was told that the power charges have been increased 15-fold in the last 10 years, whereas the water tariff remained untouched.
Left with no other alternative, he then gave the green signal for the proposed price hike for water supplied by the government. But instructions have been given to the officials to spare slum areas from the proposed hike.
At a meeting held in Hyderabad on Friday, Reddy reviewed the situation, and has called for a meeting again before implementing the water tariff hike. Municipal Administration Minister M Mahidhar Reddy, Labour Minister Danam Nagender, Marketing Minister M Mukesh Goud and top officials of the HMWS&SB were present at the meeting.
Later, Danam informed media persons that in the next meeting the government would announce the new tariff after implementing the proposed hike.
The proposed hike would increase the HMWS&SB's revenues by Rs. 100 crore per month. Currently, the Water Board gets Rs. 42 crore from nearly 7.80 lakh connections, with a tariff of Rs. 6 for 1 to 15 units, and a minimum of Rs. 131 is charged, including the sewerage connection.
Initially, when the Chief Minister was opposing the hike, the department officials told him that the common man spends Rs. 150 - Rs. 200 for a cable TV connection, and therefore a hike of Rs. 150 will not be a burden.
The requirement for water by 2013-14 is estimated to be around 370 mgd and by 2014, the supply will be increased from 450 mgd to 500 mgd, for which 5.5 TMC of water would be required.
Plans were afoot to bring 20 TMC of water from the Godavari, but got delayed due to problems at the Yellampally Reservoir. However, those problems are likely to be cleared soon.
Orders have been issued to release the supply of around 40 mgd from the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs.
Referring to the Bholakpur incident of water contamination in 2009, Danam Nagender said steps have been taken to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in future. The minister is expected to inspect the said suburbs on August 27 to review the situation. (INN)