Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a major relief to Delhiites today announced a waiver of water bills pending till November last year as his government completed one year in office today. The total value of the pending bills to be waived across categories is Rs 2,854.80 crore. The government also decided to waive the payment of late fee and that will cost it another Rs 923.27 crore.
Giving an account of the works undertaken over the last 12 months by the Delhi government, Kejriwal said they have not let a single penny of taxpayers’ money go to “waste”.
“When we analysed water bills, we found these in disarray as most water bills were prepared on an average basis without reading meters. It will be impossible to sit to correct these bills. In view of this, pending water bills till November 30 will be waived. The exemptions will be based on property tax category areas,” Kejriwal told the gathering to mark one year of the AAP government.
He said that people living in A and B category areas will be given exemption of up to 25 per cent on their water bills while C category will receive 50 per cent exemption.
“The D category area will be exempted 75 per cent and E,F,G and H category areas will be completely exempted from paying pending bills. Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) will be totally waived in all categories,” he said.
The Chief Minister said most people were facing trouble in getting correct bills and added that the recovery of water dues was almost ‘zero’. He said the waiver will be only for those consumers who have a functional water meter.
Kejriwal and his entire Cabinet today took questions from Delhiites in a phone-in programme at NDMC Convention Centre to mark the completion of the AAP government’s one year in year.
Water Minister Kapil Mishra said there are around 19.5 lakh registered water consumers and 75 per cent of them will benefit due to the scheme.
“People whose water meter number is registered with Delhi Jal Board will be exempted. Consumers who have a meter, but one that is not registered with DJB, will have to do the same to avail the scheme,” he said.
The minister said he hopes that with this scheme, the phenomenon of “fake water bills” is checked.
After coming to power, the AAP government had announced halving of power tariffs for families consuming up to 400 units a month and free-water supply of 20,000 litres (20 kilolitres) to every household.
Kejriwal said that by the end of December 2017, every household will be connected to a piped water network with the government having prepared a draft plan in this regard.
“With the laying of water pipes in every area by 2017, there will be no need for water tanks. Except 45-50 colonies on government land, all localities will receive water through a pipeline,” he said.