After protests, Maha CM spares Mumbai of BMC’s proposed hike in water charges

Mumbai, Nov 22 (IANS): Amid fire from the Congress and other parties, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde instructed the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to not implement its steep 8 per cent hike in water charges for Mumbai, here on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the BMC announced that there will be no hike in water charges, spelling relief for Mumbaikars in the election year when civic, Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are scheduled.

The BMC said that a proposal by the Hydraulic Department to increase the water supply charges this year has been yanked off after the CM's directives.

Mumbai Congress President Varsha Gaikwad, who had strongly protested the BMC's proposal when it was coming without the presence of elected representatives in the civic body, welcomed the CM's decision.

Explaining the rationale behind the upward revision in the water charges, the civic body said that the seven reservoirs -- Tansa, Upper Vaitarna, Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Bhatsa, Vihar and Tulsi -- supply around 3,950 million litres water daily to quench the thirst of Mumbai.

However, barring Vihar and Tulsi, the other reservoirs are located at a distance of around 150 km from the city, the water undergoes purification treatment and then transported to all parts of Mumbai before reaching individual households through pipelines.

It said that the annual water charges are determined by calculating infrastructure costs, maintenance and repairs, royalty fees, water purification and disinfection processes, electricity costs, installation, etc.

Around 11 years ago, the BMC Standing Committee had passed a resolution to increase the water charges by maximum 8 per cent annually, and the current proposed hike for 2023-2024 was in tune with that decision.



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Title: After protests, Maha CM spares Mumbai of BMC’s proposed hike in water charges

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