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NOT NOW:BWSSB Chairperson P.B. Ramamurthy said the board's previous proposal was sent back
Bangalore: Even as Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is pressing for a hike in water tariff, the State Government is unlikely to approve it at the moment.
Sources in the Urban Development Department told The Hindu on Monday that the Government was not keen on a hike in water charges right now. Confirming this, the new Minister for BWSSB, S. Suresh Kumar, who reviewed BWSSB's functioning here on Monday, said: “We will first explore various avenues to see if the board's revenue can be increased by checking water wastage and plugging leakages. While we are aware that the board is overburdened with escalating power charges, hiking water charges is not a priority now.”
BWSSB Chairperson P.B. Ramamurthy said the board's previous proposal to hike the tariff was sent back by the Government as it wanted some issues to be clarified.
Big power bill
“The Government has sought some clarifications on our proposal for various slabs and the subsidies. We are working on that and will again submit a new proposal to impress upon the Government that our charges need to be hiked soon. The previous hike in power charges has increased our power bills by nearly Rs. 20 crore,” he said. “Any revision in the power tariff badly affects the board and necessitates a hike in the water rates.”
Pointing out that the Minister had convened another meeting on December 20, Mr. Ramamurthy said that the board would again pursue the matter at the meeting.
Mr. Suresh Kumar said that he had asked the BWSSB officials to prepare a list of pending issues with the Government and other civic providers. “I have asked them to give us the list of issues with possible solutions and the efforts made so far to get the issues resolved,” he said.
Pointing out that he also asked the officials to list out the best practices that the board has been following in the last three years, the Minister said he wanted them to be open on emulating best practices followed elsewhere in the country.
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