Start using water judiciously, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is contemplating increasing water charges. The civic administration wants to revise slab charges under the telescopic billing system and the rates for commercial enterprises like mineral water and soft drink plants.
According to the new proposal, charges for residential connections would go up by 25-50 per cent, while mineral water and cold drink plants will have to cough up 50 per cent more. Currently, the BMC charges a base amount of Rs 3.24 per capita per day for consumption up to 150 litres, double the base amount for 150-200 litres, triple the base amount for 200-250 litres and quadruple the base amount for more than 250 litres of water used.
In the revised rates, while the first slab has been kept the same, the subsequent rates have been made triple, four times and five times the base amount (see box for details). This hike is besides the annual 8 per cent hike approved by the elected representatives in February last year. As far as commercial operations like packaged water and soft drink companies are concerned, users will have to pay Rs 97.2 per 1,000 litres of water consumed, instead of the current Rs 64.80.
“We have tabled the proposal with the fresh rates before the civic Standing committee. The new rates will be imposed from April 1, 2014,” said Ramesh Bambale, hydraulic engineer of the BMC. The new charges will be effective once the Standing committee gives its approval.
The committee, however, is in no mood to give a go-ahead. “We will strongly oppose these revised rates,” said Devendra Amberkar, opposition leader in the BMC. Apart from opposition parties like Nationalist Congress Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the ruling Shiv Sena, too, is not in favour of the plan.
Rahul Shewale, chairman of the committee, stated, “There is no need to revise water charges and we are not going to pass the proposal.” “The administration had not mentioned any hike or increasing charges earlier. Presenting this as a separate routine proposal is nothing but a ‘back door’ plan,” said Dilip Lande, MNS corporator and member of the Standing committee. The proposal will be discussed in a meeting scheduled for next week.
The current rate that mineral water and soft drink plants pay per thousand litres of water consumed per day
Amount mineral water and soft drink plants will have to pay per thousand litres of water consumed per day