Hyderabad: Water Board coffers dry up, grappling to pay power bills

Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board
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Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board

Highlights

The board owes more than Rs 1,000 crore to the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TSGENCO)

Hyderabad: Although the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is providing free drinking water to 12.56 lakh households in the city, it is also falling into a big hole having failed to pay electricity bills for 15 months.

The board owes more than Rs 1,000 crore to the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TSGENCO). It fears that TSGENCO may stop providing electricity. The board is also struggling to pay salaries to its staff.

The State government has launched the free drinking water scheme for all Hyderabad residents on January 12, 2021. The board is supplying up to 20,000 litres a month free from December 2020. But the scheme has landed it in huge losses as 12.56 lakh consumers of the board used to pay monthly bills of about Rs 50 crore to Rs 70 crore, which constitutes the major portion of HMWS&SB revenue. This has been stopped from December 2020.

"Currently, the board's monthly electricity consumption is 125 million units; TSGENCO is collecting Rs.3.95 a unit; the board has not paid 15 months electricity bills to TSGENCO," a senior board official told The Hans India. Sources said to ensure that the board is able to pay staff salaries, do regular maintenance, provide free 20 kl water and continue supply without any issue. It is important that rates are raised to counter the effect of new power tariff, as it will increase the monthly electricity bill from Rs.80 crore to Rs.120 crore.

From pumping raw water to purifying it before distribution and supply, the board supplies about 500 million gallons of potable water every day in Hyderabad.

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