New water tariff comes into effect; expect three-fold rise in KWA bill

Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine
Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine had earlier said that the increase would be effective only after March. Photo: Manorama News

Thiruvananthapuram: The bimonthly water bill too is set to rise in Kerala along with almost all products, services, fees and taxes. An order in this regard was issued on Friday, February 4, a day after the Kerala Budget was presented in the Legislative Assembly.

While the budget recommendations will come into force on April 1, the increase in the water charge took effect on Friday itself a month earlier than it was expected likely because of the acute financial crisis.

Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine had earlier said that the increase would be effective only after March.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) had given permission to the government on January 13 to increase the water tariff by 1 paise per litre.

Circular soon
Next month’s bill issued by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be calculated on the basis of the new tariff structure. The hike will be applicable to all categories of consumers. The updation of KWA software as per the new tariff will be completed in a week.

There will be an increase of Rs 10 for 1,000 litres of water as per the new tariff. Consumers will have clarity on the exact increase once the KWA issues a circular soon on the new rates for different slabs.

The Cabinet has not discussed the hike so far. The Water Resources Department officials had clarified that the Cabinet need not discuss the matter as the KWA is empowered to take a decision on its own.

The KWA aims to collect an additional revenue of Rs 401 crore.

Additional outgo
As per the new rates, a family may have to pay an additional amount ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 400 a month under different slabs, making it three times the present amount. A four-member family uses an average of 15,000 to 20,000 litres of water a month. The minimum tariff that was Rs 22.05 for use of up to 5,000 litres a month will now go up to Rs 72.05. Even if no water is used, it would be considered as if 5,000 litres were used a month and the minimum charge should be paid. The present monthly rate for every 1,000 litres above 5,000 litres is Rs 4.41. This will go up to Rs 14.41.

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