SCB discusses water woes
SCB discusses water woes. The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has come up with a nine-point formula to tackle the issue of pending dues to the Water Board.
• Comes up with a nine-point formula to clear pending debts of ` 32 cr
• To request CM to waive arrears
The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) has come up with a nine-point formula to tackle the issue of pending dues to the Water Board. In a special board meeting held at its Defence Estate office on Wednesday, the members along with the president, Brig. Sunil S Bodhe, and the CEO, Sujatha Gupta, discussed the water supply arrangement in SCB areas, connection charges, debts etc.
Sujatha Gupta said that several meetings were held in the past to resolve the long-pending issues but no concrete agreement between the SCB and water board was reached due to diverse stands taken by both the parties.
“Due to accumulation of arrears, on account of revised calculations made by the Water Board, including interest on pending dues payable by the SCB, the Water Board had unilaterally decided to reduce the quantity of water to be supplied to Cantonment areas resulting in water crisis,” she added.
In order to resolve the same, Sujatha Gupta met the Water Board MD on January 10 and agreed to pay connection charges towards already released water at Hasmathpet tapping point and Gunrock village pump house and also the connection charges to release water to Karkhana mega reservoir.
Sujatha Gupta said SCB had requested Water Board not to revise the connection charges and agreed to clear actual connection charges in due course. “Cantonment Board has, in fact, already paid Rs 2.53 crore towards connection charges,” she informed.
Sunil Bodhe said, “As discussed and agreed in the last board meeting held on December 5, all the ward members have to pursue with the local MLA and MP to enable them to meet the Chief Minister to impress upon him to waive the interest burden on the arrears.” He told the members that the respective public representatives had agreed to do their best by coordinating with the Chief Minister to resolve the issue and free SCB from its financial crisis.
Decisions taken in the meeting:
The SCB has agreed to pay the bills from the month of January 2014 as per the demand on the basis of the quantity supplied and in accordance with the tariff rates fixed by the Water Board, which is Rs 13.50 per kilolitre.
Water Board has asked the SCB to clear the arrears of Rs 32.61 crore within 6 months and agreed to freeze the amount (interest will not be levied on the aforementioned arrears).
The Water Board has requested to pay additional pumping charges wherever it is applicable at a rate of Rs 2.50 per kilolitre, in addition to the monthly water cess in the case of Mahendra Hills reservoir.
SCB requested to alter the agreed quantities (within 53 lakh gallons) to all the wards of Cantonment Board, for which the Water Board has given its nod.
The SCB has taken the decision to augment the water supply system and increase revenue collection by:
• Computerisation of consumer data
• Arrangements of special teams for data and revenue collection
• Eight water bill supervisors / distributors (one for each ward) have been hired on contract basis
• Issuing notices to all consumers which enables identification of illegal connections
• Allotment of Unique Consumer Numbers (UCN) to all water consumers in Secunderabad Cantonment Area
• Processing of grievances and payments on the basis of UCN provided to the consumers
• Special teams for identification of multiple water connections
• Arranging special counters in colonies / RWAs for collection of pending arrears
• Installation of water meters which have been already procured by Zenner Aquamet Pvt. Ltd, Haryana, which enables to identify the direct connection of motor pumps to suck the water and levying of water charges as per the quantity supplied.