Nurpur: Demand to slash urban water charges gains momentum

Nurpur: Demand to slash urban water charges gains momentum

2022-04-17 23:34:39

Our Correspondent

Nurpur, April 17

After the announcement of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur at Chamba on Himachal Day for waiving water bill in rural areas, the demand of slashing urban water charges has started gaining momentum here. A lot of resentment is brewing among urban domestic water consumers for neglecting them while making the announcement.

The Jal Shakti Department has been increasing piped water charges by 10 per cent with each passing year since 2005. As per information, the then Virbhadra Singh government had issued a notification in this connection in 2005 for enhancing 10 per cent water charges in urban areas. As a sequel, an urban domestic consumer, who had been paying Rs 40 for one water connection per month in 2005, will have to pay Rs 201 from April this year. The water charges bill with enhanced tariff has become a bane for the poor who are unable to pay hefty bills as the Jal Shakti Department has issued bills to them after one year this month.

The urban domestic water consumers have demanded that monthly water tariff is slashed and a notification of 2005 is revoked so that consumers could get some respite. Hanumati Raina, Jagdish, Praveen Sangalia, Sahil Mehra, Surinder Mahajan, Sarishta Sharma and Sushma, residents of the town, alleged that the water tariff hike in the urban areas with each passing year and the waiving of water bill in rural areas indicated the discriminatory approach of the state government for urban people. They said it was also against the spirit of Modi government’s ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ scheme aimed at ensuring access of piped water for every household in the country through individual household tap connections by 2024.

PD Sahotra, general secretary of the Town Welfare Committee, and Rajesh Sahotra, vice-president of Jan Chetna, a local NGO, have appealed to the Chief Minister that urban residents should also get relief by reducing their water charges as poor people also reside in towns who could not afford such hefty bills. —

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