Shimla, April 5
Shimla residents are likely to get a major relief on water bills shortly. The government has prepared a proposal under which consumers using up to 20,000 litre per month will not have to pay any charges except the processing fee.
Over 28,000 domestic users
- There are around 35,000 water connections in the city, out of which 28,000 are domestic consumers.
- “Around 70-80 per cent domestic consumers consume up to 20,000 litre water per month. That way over 20,000 consumers will benefit from the proposal,” source said.
“The government has already provided relief in electricity bills and the garbage fee to help people recover from the impact of Covid. On similar lines, a proposal has been prepared to provide relief in water bills too,” said a source in the know of things. The proposal will be sent to the Finance Department shortly, and then it will be taken up in the Cabinet.
According to the source, the proposal aims at providing relief to maximum consumers. At the moment, there are around 35,000 water connections in the city, out of which 28,000 are domestic consumers. “Around 70-80 per cent domestic consumers consume up to 20,000 litre water per month. That way over 20,000 consumers will benefit from the proposal,” the source said.
Meanwhile, SJPNL’s independent director Digvijay Chauhan said that even those consumers who consume more than 20,000 litre could avail the benefit of the relief proposal. “If the government gives relief on consumption up to 20,000 litre, the consumers using more water can apply for additional connection. That way their consumption per connection will fall below 20,000 litre, and they will become eligible for relief. The SJPNL is ready to provide additional connections,” he said.
The demand for providing some relief for the residents in water bills had come from the MC House. Apart from passing the resolution in this regard in the House, some councillors had met Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in this connection a while back. “We had demanded that around 10,000 litre water be provided free to the people, and the rates of different slabs be revised. The CM had assured us that our request would be considered seriously,” said Sunil Dhar, councillor from Kaithu ward.
Meanwhile, the government has already waived garbage fee worth around Rs 4 crore for the commercial establishments that remained shut during the lockdown imposed by the Centre in 2021. Besides, the government has waived the total bill on electricity consumption up to 60 units and the rate for consumption between 60-125 units has been fixed at Rs 1 per unit.