State owes Rs 89 cr in water bills: Mayor orders CM, others to pay up

Feb 01, 2014, 08:17 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar and Chetna Yerunkar

Top politicians, policemen and hospitals find their place in BMC's water bill defaulters' list, which runs into 9,000 pages and has around 9 lakh names on it

For a city that is always on tenterhooks about its water supply, Mumbaikars seem to display a brazen apathy over the payment of water bills. The BMC has a defaulter’s list that runs on for 9,000 pages and and has around 9 lakh names on it.

The outstanding dues from the Vidhan Bhavan are Rs 2 lakh
The outstanding dues from the Vidhan Bhavan are Rs 2 lakh

Even more appalling is the fact that this list of defaulters’ includes properties used by some of the city’s most prominent leaders and state-run agencies, such as Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Home Minister R R Patil, and Minister for Industry, Port, Employment and Self-employment Narayan Rane just to name a few.

CM Prithviraj Chavan and Mayor Sunil Prabhu

Taken together, different government agencies and offices in the state owe a staggering Rs 89 crore in water taxes to the BMC. Ironically, a lion’s share of this amount is owed to the civic body by the Thane Zilla Parishad’s water supply department, at around Rs 20.69 crore. Another prominent defaulter is the Office of the DCP of Local Arms II, which has outstanding water bills of over Rs 46 lakh.

The civic body is to yet recover the amounts from the state agencies, which include the Collector’s office, Mumbai Police Club, Mumbai University, the Public Works Department and various state-run hospitals. Mayor Sunil Prabhu has warned these bodies to pay their dues. Some properties owned by the central government also feature on the list.

Prabhu said, “The BMC is yet to collect around Rs 89 crore from the state agencies, and this is not the first time that bills issued by us have payment pending. We have faced this situation even in the past. We request all to pay off the dues at the earliest, or the civic body will be liable to disconnect the water supply.”

There are about 9 lakh water bill defaulters in the city, and the BMC’s water department has about Rs 930 crore outstanding for almost 15 years now. Of this, Rs 200 crore is pending from various slum rehabilitation projects.

The BMC had conducted a special drive to recover water bills in the city from February 15 to March 31 last year. In course of the drive, they disconnected over 7,800 water meters spread across residential, commercial and industrial areas. The outstanding amount last year was Rs 900 crore, of which private, residential and commercial buildings owed more than Rs 550 crore. The BMC recovered approximately Rs 150 crore in course of the drive.

Free of cost?
The Opposition leader at BMC, Devendra Amberkar, said, “This is the fault of the administration. Why is there no action taken against anyone in such a huge matter? This means we are supplying water to all the departments and agencies, free of cost. This is not fair to the common people who pay bills regularly, while other agencies are spared. The BMC should disconnect the water supply so that they start paying their bills on time.”

Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajeev Jalota said, “The issue of outstanding water bills is ongoing. The amount that the different government agencies need to pay is huge, and runs into hundreds of crores. There is a list of 9,000 pages having 9 lakh defaulters and about Rs 930 crore is outstanding. We are trying to recover the amount at the earliest.”

The other side
Kishor Patil, executive engineer of the Public Works Department, who is responsible for payment of water bills owed from the ministers’ bungalows in Malabar Hill, said, “We pay the bill within 2-3 months. We have cleared all water bills up to November 2013 and this must be latest, which will be paid soon.”

Chandrashekhar Oak, collector for Mumbai city, said, “Our office pays the electricity bills but I have no idea about the water charges. I have to check and verify the water bills.” Dr MA Khan, registrar of Mumbai University, said, “I have not come across any such information. The university is paying its bills regularly. Some bills might have been delayed. If at all any bills are pending, they will be paid soon. I don’t know in particular which month’s bill is pending.”

Dr T P Lahane, dean of JJ Group of hospitals, “The water bills have been pending since 2006 for St George Hospital, but we have informed the civic body that we will be able to pay the amount only if it is without interest. Since the water bill for Cama Hospital is Rs 25,000 per month, we will make the payment.”

Outstanding Water bills

Maharashtra Legislative Secretariat
Rs 63 lakh

Executive Engineer Zilla Parishad, Thane
Rs 71 lakh

Superintendent St George Hospital
Rs 1.78 cr

Executive Engineer (water supply, Thane zilla parishad)
Rs 20 cr

Superintendent (ESIS Hospital)
Rs 1.88 cr

The no of pages in the defaulters’ list

Rs 200 cr
Pending bills owed by Slum rehabilitation projects

9 lakh
Number of water bill defaulters in the city

Outstanding water bills of ministers’ bungalows

Prithviraj Chavan

Varsha, Malabar Hill
Rs 9,479

Prithviraj Chavan
Torna, Malabar Hill
Rs 2,951

Harshwardhan Patil

Parnakuty, Malabar Hill
Rs 11,470

RR Patil

Chitrakut, Malabar Hill
Rs 18,965

Anil Deshmukh

Jetwan, Malabar Hill
Rs 11,764

Narayan Rane

Dyaneshwari, Malabar Hill
Rs 3,308

Jaydatta Kshirsagar
Satpuda, Malabar Hill
Rs 6,422

Other state government offices and their outstanding dues

Executive Engineer (Water Supply)
Thane Zilla Parishad
Rs 20,69,73,527

Superintendent (ESIS Hospital)
Mulund (W)
Rs 1,88,35,097

Superintendent (St George Hospital)

Rs 1,78,39,497

General Manager

Greater Bombay Milk Scheme Dairy, Worli
Rs 63,15,735

Executive Engineer
Zilla Parishad Thane
Rs 71,95,974

Maharashtra Legislative Secretariat
Apollo street
Rs 63,68,800

Office of DCP (LA II)
Rs 46,61,335

Executive Engineer (PWD)
Jambori Maidan, Worli
Rs 33,74,911

Medical officer
Cama Hospital, Dhobi Talao
Rs 25,23,227

Executive Engineer, Griha Nirman Bhavan
Motilal Nagar, Goregaon (W)
Rs 20,06,565

The Commissioners (Food and Drug Administration)
BKC, Bandra (E)
Rs 18,55,021

Executive Engineer (PWD)
Bandhakam Bhavan, Fort
Rs 15,32,678

Principal Secretary
Rs 10,75,297

Mumbai Collector
Custom House Road
Rs 8,50,863

(Mumbai Police Club) Mahapalika Marg, CST
Rs 5,23,542

Principal Secretary
Vidhan Bhavan, Nariman Point
Rs 2,00,350


Mumbai University
Rs 21,907

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