Tribune News Service
Shimla, April 6
The Board of Directors of the Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) decided to defer the annual 10 per cent hike in water charges in its meeting here today. The hike would have been applicable from April 1 but the Board of Directors, headed by Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi, decided to defer it until its next meeting.
“We had put in a request to not increase water charges and the Board of Directors accepted our request. It’s a big relief to the residents, especially in the times of the pandemic,” said Mayor Satya Kaundal.
In another decision that will provide relief to the people, the BoD decided to adopt the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited’s template for levying surcharge on late payment of the bills. “At the moment, the SJPNL levies 10 per cent surcharge straight on late payment of the bills. It was decided to levy the surcharge in a staggered manner like HBSEBL does, with 1.5 per cent in the first month and a capping of maximum 10 per cent,” said Chauhan.
The BoD also decided to make the fee for domestic water connection uniform in both MC and outside MC limits. “We used to charge Rs 5,550 for connection outside MC limits as against Rs 2,550 within MC limits. Now, the fee outside MC limits would also be Rs 2,550,” said Chauhan.
However, the SJPNL will not provide new connections outside the municipal limits until the city gets ample water supply. “Until our water supply improves, the new connection will not be given. At the moment we have just enough water to meet city’s requirements,” Chauhan said.
The BoD also discussed the appointment of full-fledged MD/CEO. “We have submitted a proposal recommending IAS officer with seven year experience, HAS officer with nine years experience or a Chief Engineer for the post. The proposal was discussed in the meeting but the final decision is awaited,” said Chauhan.
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