Thiruvananthapuram: The proposed Re 1 tariff hike by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) may appear to be a nominal one, but expect a shocker when the next water bill reaches you as soon as the new rate comes into force after the State Government gives the green signal.
The KWA proposal to raise water charge by Re 1 per litre has got the nod of the Left Democratic Front (LDF). If the Government accepts the recommendation, then a family of five members will have to dole out an extra amount of Rs 200 to Rs 400 on an average towards the bimonthly water bill.
That means the consumers will have to set aside thrice the amount that they have been paying once in every two months.
As per the figures available till the start of this month, the cash-strapped KWA is yet to receive Rs 2,391 crore in arrears from various defaulters.
It hopes to collect an additional Rs 300-Rs 350 crore through the tariff hike. The rates of public taps too are set to rise.
The minimum tariff for using up to 5,000 litres of water per month is Rs 22.05. When an increase of Re 1 per litre is effected, it will increase to Rs 72.05. If one has availed connection but didn’t use water, still they have to pay the minimum charge as it will be considered that they have consumed 5,000 litres of water per month.
Different slab rates will be applicable for use of every 5,000 litres above the minimum volume. If water use exceeds 30,000 litres, then special slab rates will be levied for every 10,000 litres of additional water. When consumption goes beyond 50,000 litres, then the special slab rate of Rs 44.10 will be applicable for every 100 litres thereof.
There are around 35.95 lakh domestic consumers in Kerala.
A five percent increase in the basic tariff was effected annually from 2021 as per the provisions of the additional loan scheme of the Central Government.
This hike was originally decided to be charged till next year. With the State Government set to effect a hike, the KWA informed that the tariff increase as per the Centre’s direction will not be levied from consumers this year.
Only 20 paise in 1982!
The monthly water charge back in 1982 was a mere 20 paise. A consumer had to pay only this much, no matter the extent of water consumption. The slab system was introduced in October 1991. And an increase in slabs was effected in 2014.