More water woes for Mumbai .... BMC hikes water rates

Mumbai Water Crisis

Mumbai, June 13: Amid the ongoing water crisis in Maharashtra, there is some more bad news for Mumbai residents.

Already reeling due to water scarcity in many parts of the city, Mumbaikars suffered a further jolt on Thursday as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that it has hiked water tax for domestic and commercial consumers in the city.

The revised water tax rates will come into effect from June 16.

According to the new rates,  Mumbaikars would now have to pay 2.48% more than what they are shelling out at present. Water charges for domestic consumers, which is  Rs 5.09 per 1000 litres at present, has been hiked to Rs. 5.22.

For users in slums, water charges will increase from Rs 3.82 to Rs 3.91 per 1000 litres. Commercial users have to pay Rs 39.20 per 1000 litres instead of Rs 38.25. With the revised rates, the BMC expects to earn Rs 35.33 crore more in the next 12 months.

For slum residents, the current water charges are Rs 3.82 per 1000 litres which will increase to Rs 3.91.

For commercial users, the current rate of Rs 38.25 will increase to Rs 39.20 per 1000 litres.

Sewerage rates have also been hiked and will be charged at 70% of total water charges.

The revised rates are expected to fetch the BMC an additional Rs 35.33 crore over the next 12 months.

BMC officials cited increase in establishment cost, administrative expenses and energy charges over the last 12 months as the reasons behind the hike.

The BMC had said on Wednesday that parts of Mumbai may face water cut by 10 to 15 per cent till June 14, the local civic body said on Wednesday.

The BMC said that water cut may be imposed after a technical snag was reported on Tuesday in the supply system at Bhatsa dam, which supplies water to large parts of the financial capital.

Some media reports had earlier suggested Mumbaikars may face up to 25 per cent water cut till June 14. However, engineers of the BMC's hydraulic department were able to resolve the issue and later clarified that some parts of the metropolis may face water cut by 10 to 15 per cent.

The BMC, in a statement, said, "There isn't a water cut. There was a technical issue at Bhatsa, but it has been resolved now. "The city (not only south island) may face some water cut but it will be not more than 10-15 per cent."

Current stock in the seven lakes suppling water to Mumbai - Upper Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Middle Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tansa, Vehar and Tulsi - has fallen drastically.

The Bhatsa dam supplies water to areas like Matunga, Sion, Dongri and Byculla, among others.

Residential, commercial and industrial premises in Mumbai are already facing 10 to 15 per cent cut in water supply timings.

Meanwhile, the BMC has appealed to Mumbaikars to judiciously use water and avoid any wastage.

News24 Bureau/Agencies

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