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Khammam Municipality plans hike in water tariff

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Mateti Venu Gopal Khammam: The Khammam Municipal Corporation has decided to implement economic reforms more effectively and proposes to take...

Mateti Venu Gopal

Khammam: The Khammam Municipal Corporation has decided to implement economic reforms more effectively and proposes to take certain stringent measures to increase the financial resources of the Corporation. And these steps would bring hardships to the common people, it is feared.
Only about a year ago, Khammam Municipality was upgraded into Municipal Corporation (KMC). The officials are not keen to solve the drinking water problems of the residents of the corporation while implementing economic policies speedily, it is felt. The city has a population of about 3 lakh. The residents are getting drinking water supply for about an hour. Earlier, people used to get drinking water on alternate days.
The city has water filter beds with a capacity of 5 million litres. However, these filter beds are not functioning to their capacity due to various reasons. During the past some weeks, there were rains and filtering of water in filter beds has been delayed. As a result, water is being supplied once in three days for residents.
There are about 24,000 domestic water supply connections and 950 public taps in Khammam. These public taps cater to the needs of people residing mostly in slums. Several works under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and AP Urban Services for the Poor (APUS) are in progress with the financial assistance from the World Bank. Water pipeline works worth Rs 75 cr are progressing in the city under JNNURM. So, in order to get more funds from World Bank, the KMC officials have decided to speed up the works relating to implementation of economic reforms.In this connection the civic officials held a meeting recently with the personnel of various departments. The meeting suggested certain steps to increase income for the civic body.
It was decided to increase water tariff. About a year ago, water tariff had been revised from Rs 60 to Rs 110 per month per one connection. Now, the municipal officials plan to increase the tariff from Rs 110. The quantum of increase has not yet been decided.
With the motive of increasing the number of water connections, the civic officials also decided to remove the public taps. If public taps are removed, people will be compelled to take domestic connections by paying the prescribed fee and this move would add more income to the KMC, it was planned. The removal public taps would bring hardships to the people living in slums, people complain. The municipal officials are also planning to attach meters to certain categories of water supply connections to measure the quantum of usage. Common people oppose these proposals of the KMC officials.
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