Pic for representation purpose – File Photo
Hyderabad: Consumers who do not have meters to their drinking water connections will have to pay double the consumption charges.
The Water Board will levy 100 per cent more in the water bill as penalty on consumers with meterless connections.
Of the total 8 lakh consumers (connections) in the city, only one lakh have meters in working condition and a little over 3 lakh have meters that do not work. The remaining do not have meters.
Water Board managing director, J. Syamala Rao, said that the board would soon target consumers who were not paying water bills regularly and that criminal cases would be booked against those having illegal connections.
Mr Rao said, “Already half a dozen people have been arrested for having illegal water connections after police complaints were lodged by water board officials.”
With the closure of the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme and the One Time Settlement scheme on March 31, which enabled regularisation of illegal water supply connections for nominal penalties and settlement of dues and arrears with interest waiver, the Water Board has decided to crack the whip against defaulters.
There are over Rs 700 crore in arrears to be paid by various consumers including Rs 200 crore by government departments. The panchayat raj department is the biggest defaulter and the Water Board has written to the government to allocate budget towards water bills and arrears of various government departments failing which, it would be compelled to disconnect the lines as per High Court orders.
The Board has over Rs 300 crore in electricity dues and is paying Rs 5 crore towards interest every month.
Meanwhile, due to various measures initiated by the Board to improve revenues, the number of paid consumers per month has increased from 3,84,499 to 4,50,690 in the current year.
Mr Rao said, “This was due to proper delivery of bills to customers through GPS-enabled billing and collection devices, better monitoring and involvement of all officers and staff and issuing red notices to a several consumers and implementation of the Revenue Recovery Act.”
The Water Board collected Rs160 crore from 4,50,690 consumers in March 2014, which is a record.
The total collection in the financial year was Rs 773.73 crore against a demand of Rs 734.32 crore. Total collection last year was Rs 645.09 crore against a demand of Rs 75 crore.
In view of the drinking water demand during summer, water tanker trips would be doubled. As against four trips, the tankers will make eight trips, Mr Rao added.