The civic body has appointed nodal officers to follow up with state government agencies in an attempt to recover dues in water bills, property tax, sewerage operations and also bring in promised grants-in-aid
The state government and its agencies owes the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) a whopping Rs 2,531.02 crore in water bills, property tax, grants-in-aid. In order to ensure the payments are made, the civic body has appointed nodal officers to follow up with the task, with water bills being first on the priority list.
MiD DAY’s report on Feb 1
MiD DAY had reported on how state agencies owed the BMC a total of Rs 89 crore in water bills, including the likes of the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Home Minister RR Patil, the Maharashtra Legislative Secretariat, among others (‘Unpaid bills of Rs 89 crore: Mayor warns CM, HM, others to pay up or he will cut water supply’, February 1).
The Mayor had warned various officials and organisations to pay up their dues or face water cuts. The total list of defaulters in water bills includes about 9 lakh people and runs into 9,000 pages. Over the last 15 years, water bills have added up to a mammoth Rs 930 crore; last year the BMC managed to recover only Rs 200 crore.
The education department also owes the BMC Rs 1,600 crore in grants promised to them. There is very little that BMC actually does to recover its own money, as it is expected from ministers and top-level state and central government agencies.
The BMC’s water department earns a revenue of about Rs 1,000 crore in 2012-13, the BMC earned Rs 1,007 crore in revenue, while expected revenue in 2013-14 is around Rs 1,100 crore. This means the pending water bills are almost equal to the department’s annual income.
The nodal officers will have to negotiate with the committee of secretaries of UD 2, finance and other concerned departments. The current budget (2014-15) promises to set up various leakage detection sections to help curb water wastage and save on the precious resource.
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte told MiD DAY, “Nodal officers have been appointed to negotiate with most of the problems. The outstanding amount and water bills will be recovered after discussions with the State Committee over the dues.”
Rs 1,000 cr
Revenue raked in by BMC’s water department in 2012-13
Rs 930 cr
Pending water bills of central and state govts over 15 years
Rs 1,600 cr
Amount in grants the BMC is owed by the education dept
Total number of water bill defaulters