Gear up to pay more for water as the cash-strapped Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has called a board meeting this week on revising tariff. According to BWSSB sources, the meeting will be held on Wednesday and top officials are contemplating using a clause in the government’s 1997 order allowing the board to revise tariff whenever necessary to ensure adequate revenue.
An official told Express that the government has turned down several tariff revision proposals since 2006 and this has severely dented the board’s finances. “We have to send it (the proposal) to the government for approval. As our revenue is not enough to meet our expenditure, the government is likely to approve this proposal,” he said. cording to official sources, around 50 per cent of the water supplied by BWSSB is unaccounted. The board generates a monthly revenue of around `48 crore, but has an expenditure of `80 crore, including `35 crore for electricity and monthly loan instalments.
BWSSB was shelling out around `18 crore on power bills every month when it last revised the tariff in 2006. Since then, power tariff has been revised several times, nearly doubling BWSSB expenditure on the same. Maintenance costs too have gone up proportionately.
Earlier Proposals Rejected
In the last seven years, BWSSB sent at least six tariff revision proposals to the government. In one proposals, t had suggested that the minimum water tariff slab, which now stands at `6 a kilolitre for domestic users, be revised by over 200 per cent, and the other slabs be revised by 40-60 per cent. The government turned down all the proposals.
But in 2013, the board did manage to convince the government to allow it to revise the water tariff for bulk users - the minimum tariff slab was increased from `6 to `19 a kilolitre. The sanitation charges too were hiked by 20 per cent of the water bill or set at a minimum of `100 per flat. Earlier, bulk domestic users were paying a minimum of `15 a flat.