Chandigarh residents oppose increase in water tariff

Say it is unreasonable, unwarranted; seek review of decision

Chandigarh residents oppose increase in water tariff

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12

A day after the UT Administration notified a steep hike in water tariff ranging from 50 per cent to 200 per cent for various slabs, Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) here today reacted strongly to it and sought a review of the decision.

“The hike in annual charges is without any basis. It should be decided on merit after getting departmental techno-commercial advice,” said Vinod Vashisht, Convener, City Forum of Residents Welfare Organisations.

“Hike in water tariff is unreasonable and unwarranted. Chandigarh is primarily a city of middle-class people. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have already suffered a setback in their business and jobs. In private sector, many employees have lost their jobs, while several others have faced pay cuts. They are finding it hard to earn their livelihood,” commented Pankaj Gupta, chief spokesperson for the Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh.

Raising the issue of water wastage, Ashok Nabhewala, chairman, CHB Residents’ Welfare Federation, said: “Thousands of litres of potable water is getting wasted every day, especially due to leakage in pipes, illegal connections, free taps at colonies and unmetered water supply. Instead of checking the wastage of this scarce resource, the Municipal Corporation is busy in imposing taxes on residents. The entire machinery should be made more accountable first. The corporation should control its excess expenditure and put minimum burden on residents. People are yet to get water supply with pressure on upper floors.”

“The hike is too much. Residents are already under pressure due to imposition of property tax and losses in jobs and business. The Administration could have waited for some more time,” felt Maj DP Singh (retd), patron of the Chandigarh Residents Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED).

Hitesh Puri, chairman of CRAWFED, said: “Increase in water tariff at this time is not justified. In case, there is a loss to the exchequer, it can be reduced by checking wastage of water and recovering pending dues. Moreover, it is not necessary that every government department should show profits. Water is the basic necessity of every resident irrespective of his status and income. We appeal to the Administrator to reconsider the hike in water tariff.”

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