BENGALURU: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has readied a new Water Tariff and Meter Policy that seeks to effect a periodic hike in water tariff across the city. The draft has to be okayed by the State government before it comes into effect.
According to reliable sources, the Water Tariff Policy envisages effecting a hike in water charges once every three years. “The idea is to ensure a revision in water tariff every three years rather than than the hikes being effected after many years, which is being followed right now,” said a source.
The last water tariff revision took place in 2014, which was effected nine years after the previous hike in 2005,” said another source.Power charges are revised regularly but subsequent changes are not effected in water tariff, a source pointed out.
Right now, BWSSB pays KPTCL and MESCOM a heavy bill each month towards electricity charges required to pump water to the City from Torekadanahalli reservoir. “The bill ranges between `33 crore and `36 crore each month depending on the quantum of water pumped. During the financial year 1997-1998, BWSSB was paying only `3 crore as monthly power bills,” he added.
“The government often turns downs the hike proposed by BWSSB. A proposal in 2009 was turned down,” the source added. “If a system is put in place through a policy so that the revision takes place automatically, then the hikes would happen unhindered,” he pointed out. The new Meter Policy seeks to account for much of the water which goes unbilled presently by putting the onus on those taking care of meters. Instead of the manual meter reading in place by meter readers, the Meter Policy proposes automatic meter reading.