Water bill too to go up as KWA to raise tariff

Unable to collect Rs 1500 crore in arrears, Kerala Water Authority reels under financial crisis
Representational image: wk1003mike/Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: Water tariff is set to go up in Kerala along with that of power. The Kerala Water Authority is set to increase its rate for domestic consumers shortly. The move is afoot to increase water charges by one paisa per litre for domestic consumers. The proposed hike is apart from the 5% increase ordered every April till 2024 as part of honouring the loan condition set by the central government.

The KWA management resolved to go in for a hike in water rates after the Finance Department wrote a letter to its Managing director D S Venkatesapathy to act on Chief Minister's directive to go in for a moderate hike of various service charges in order to replenish the fund-starved State Treasury.

The recommendations given by Water Resources Additional Chief Secretary T K Jose also suggested hike in water charges for non-domestic industrial connections since such an increase is necessary for overcoming the present financial crisis. But the State Government has not yet taken a decision on these recommendations.

KWA income, expenses
The KWA currently spends Rs 23 for treating and distributing 1,000 litres of water. But on an average, the KWA receives only Rs 11 from consumers.

Moreover, the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) is charging a higher tariff for supplying electricity to the KWA's water treatment plants by including it in the category of industrial units. The KWA currently owes the KSEB an arrears of Rs 1,016 crore under this head.

The KWA has to get an outstanding dues of Rs 2,050 crore from various sources. Of this amount, Rs 1,387 crore has to be paid by various government departments.

Monthly, the KWA earns a revenue of Rs 50 to Rs 55 crore. But for meeting salary and pension expenses alone, it needs a monthly amount of Rs 32 crore and Rs 24 crore, respectively.

KSEB too seeks hike
The (KSEB) has sought a hike of 18.14% in power tariff from domestic consumers, 11.88% from small-scale industries and 11.47% from large-scale industries.

It also demanded that the present tariff of Rs 2.75 per unit charged from small-scale farmers be hiked to Rs 3.64 per unit.

The KSEB's other demand is that the tariff for large-scale agriculture consumers should be hiked from the present Rs 5.67 per unit to Rs 6.86 per unit.

It also suggested that the tariff charged from the Kochi Metro should be made Rs 7.18 per unit instead of the present Rs 6.46 per unit.

Over Rs 2,000 cr dues

As per the statistics available till December 31, 2021, the KSEB has to get back Rs 2,117 core as dues from various consumers. Of this amount, the dues owed by the government departments alone would come to Rs 1020.74 crore. The dues by the private parties stand at Rs 1,023.76 crore.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.