HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao kept his GHMC poll promise to the residents of Hyderabad, with the State government's launch of the free 20 KL (20,000 litres) drinking water supply scheme here on Tuesday.
This will benefit 4.33 lakh water consumers in Greater Hyderabad limits. Launching the scheme at SPR Hills in Rahmath Nagar on Tuesday, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao reiterated the Telangana government's commitment to the welfare of its people, regardless of how tough things were financially due to the pandemic.
"At a time when all the States in the country are reeling under severe financial crisis due to COVID-19, Telangana is emerging as the only State that is sustaining all its development projects and welfare schemes for the people, despite the cash crunch," Rama Rao said.
According to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB), out of the 10.08 lakh water consumers in Greater Hyderabad limits, around 4.33 lakh, who possess metered connections, are eligible for the scheme.
Of these consumers, 1.96 lakh reside in domestic slums. While around 7.87 lakh connections belong to individual domestic consumers, another 24,967 are utilised by domestic apartments/bulk consumers. Generally, the monthly bill for consuming up to 20 KL water is around Rs 323.
With the new scheme in place, consumption up to 20KL per month will be free, and that above 20 KL will be charged as per applicable tariff with effect from December 2020. For instance, if a person consumes 25 KL of water per month, 20 KL will be excluded from the billing, and the consumer will be charged for the 5KL as per the existing tariff.
Domestic apartments (multi-storied apartment complex) and domestic bulk consumers, however, must get water meters installed at their own cost to avail the free water supply scheme. To avail the benefit, citizens can either link their consumer 'CAN number' with Aadhaar at the nearest MeeSeva centre or log on to www.hyderabadwater.gov.in.
As for unmetered connections, the government will offer consumers the opportunity to install meters by March 31, 2021. Accordingly, the 20-KL bills will be issued from April 1, 2021. Consumers can contact the Consumer Relationship Management at 155313 for further queries or clarifications.
No tax in six years: MAUD minister KT Rama Rao
At the launch of the scheme, the MAUD Minister described the last six years of TRS' rule as Telangana’s golden era, during which no tax was imposed on citizens. "Drinking water, whose charges had to be revised upwards, is now being supplied free of cost. Neither was there any hike in property tax or power tariff, nor was the registration fee increased," Rama Rao said.
The Minister personally issued 'zero bills' to a few beneficiaries at their doorsteps, and explained to them the welfare schemes the government had rolled out for their benefit. "Supplying drinking water for free is a historic event. We are in fact celebrating Sankranti two days in advance," he said, adding that the burden of the State government would be about Rs 500 crore per annum on the new scheme's account.