Slums cry foul as HMWS&SB snaps water supply
Cash strapped Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is going all out to recover dues from its consumers. But in its...
Cash strapped Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is going all out to recover dues from its consumers. But in its eagerness it revealed its ugly side on Friday, when the board officials swooped down on two slums- Bhagat Singh Nagar and Lambadithanda-and cut two water connections citing non-payment of dues.
- Squatters exhibit bills with all dues paid
- No notice given, allege slum dwellers
- Activists lament BPL families are easy scapegoats
“While the Water Board has to recover Rs 272 crore from government departments and commercial establishments, the board cut the connections of slum dwellers. There are several individual consumers whose dues run into lakhs but the board does not have the guts to take action, instead it is targeting poor slum dwellers,” said M Srinivas, CPM city secretary.
S Mallamma of Bhagat Singh Nagar, whose connection was cut on May 8, says, “We paid the dues on May 7 but the water board officials cut the connection on May 9. It was about seven months ago that we received the connections but the board did not send the bills.”
Each connection is to serve five families. In all, there are nine connections in the two slums. Papaiah, a resident of the slum, said, “The board did not issue notices and one fine day just cut the connections. It is after a lot of struggle that we received the connections. We also paid a lot of money to local leaders.”
There are 8.30 lakh connections in the city out of which 23,000 fall under the commercial category. Ramya, a social activist, says, “The water board is incurring losses and with additional expenditure due to pumping charges after the commissioning of the Krishna Phase III project the board is a harassing low income group families when it should go after industrial houses.”