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Hiked payments add to Pindi’s water woes

by Pakistan Latest News Update
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: Even after going through an acute scarcity and no assure of receiving an uninterrupted provide of water of their properties, the folks of Rawalpindi will now should bear a rise of virtually 1,000 per cent in water expenses. The choice to extend the costs got here after the Water and Sanitation Company (WASA) and the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) appeared for tactics to satisfy their fiscal deficit.

Apart from, the company has additionally determined to alter its billing cycle to a month-to-month one as towards the earlier three-month cycle. To cease water theft and cost folks in accordance with their utilization, the company has additional determined to put in water meters and the pilot venture for the aim is predicted to begin throughout the subsequent three months. Within the subsequent section of the venture, all home and business customers in Rawalpindi shall be billed via the brand new meters.

Rawalpindi WASA has additionally determined to extend the charges for the set up of latest connections in rural areas, a transfer that’s backed by the municipal our bodies beneath the brand new native authorities system.

Per the brand new choice, each residential and business customers should pay elevated water expenses and a abstract on this regard has been despatched to the Punjab authorities for approval.

Chatting with The Specific Tribune, WASA spokesperson Umar Farooq maintained {that a} comparable choice was taken up to now and a abstract concerning that had been despatched to the Punjab authorities in 2009 however the choice couldn’t come into drive owing to political interference.

“Water charges should have been increased much sooner but the move could not be materialised. We have now forwarded a summary of the decision to the chief minister of Punjab for approval,” he mentioned. “Once approved, the agency will issue separate bills for each floor of a triple-storey residential building instead of a collective bill for the entire building. This will be followed in commercial buildings too as all shops would get separate bills.”

Inflated water tanker costs

In the meantime, WASA has additionally elevated the charges of water tankers for each business and home use. Throughout a survey carried out by The Specific Tribune, it was discovered that it takes nearly three days to get a WASA water tanker delivered to a home if a correct and authorized channel is adopted. Nevertheless, for a faster service, residents of the garrison metropolis are compelled to bribe officers.

Seizing this window of alternative, the personal tanker mafia has constructed tube wells on personal lands and is promoting water on hiked charges. The survey revealed that many of the personal tanker corporations are owned by influential figures. Throughout summers, the house owners make hay by rising the charges to as excessive as Rs2,000 per tanker for home customers.

Haji Ikram, a personal tanker provider, mentioned that his enterprise would shut down the day WASA begins supplying water to every family correctly.

Improve in water connection expenses

In the meantime, with new native physique system in impact, the municipal committees have additionally determined to extend the residential safety charges for water connections to a non-refundable quantity of Rs2,000. The safety charges for business connection has been enhanced from non-refundable Rs3,000 to Rs4,000. Underneath new tariffs, the costs for service stations, playgrounds, water parks and swimming swimming pools can be Rs5,000 monthly, whereas Rs1,000 can be charged from mosques and non secular seminaries.

The tariffs for five-marla residential items has been hiked from Rs300 to Rs1,000, whereas expenses for business customers have surged from Rs600 to Rs1,500. Equally, the brand new tariff for a judicial advanced has jumped from Rs1,500 to Rs5,000. For tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital, the brand new expenses can be Rs20,000 month-to-month as a substitute of a collective price of Rs150,000 yearly.

Business customers can be introduced beneath the brand new tariff bracket whereas petrol pumps can be charged Rs1,500 as a substitute of Rs883.

For service stations, there was a rise from Rs7,063 to Rs12,000, whereas for dry cleansing outlets, the tariff has been elevated from Rs883 to Rs2,000.

Marriage ceremony halls and marquees have been divided into 5 classes similar to their capacities and they’d be charged a minimal of Rs3,000 as much as Rs15,000 month-to-month.

Non-public colleges will now be paying as a lot as Rs5,000 for water set up as a substitute of Rs500 month-to-month. The brand new tariff may even impression house owners of vegetable farms, nurseries, and hostels, amongst different services.

Chairman Rawalpindi Growth Authority (RDA) Tariq Murtaza instructed The Specific Tribune that the WASA board of administrators have permitted the brand new tariff and the choice would come into impact after approval of the Punjab chief minister.

In the meantime, the RCB has additionally permitted an nearly 100 per cent enhance in water tariffs for home and business customers throughout all areas within the jurisdiction that might be enforced from April 1.

Opposition from residents and companies

The enterprise group of Rawalpindi, together with merchants, private-school house owners in addition to home customers, have refused to just accept the choice and have demanded WASA to make sure enough water provide first. Per sources, the enterprise group has hinted at the potential of staging a protest towards the measure.

In the course of the survey, residents of various areas in Rawalpindi, together with Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Bangash Colony, Shakrial East and West, Muslim City, Bihari Colony, Khanna Dak, Raja Sultan neighbourhood, and Ratta Amral additionally warned WASA of staging a sit-in outdoors its workplace if the steered tariff was imposed.

“We receive water at our homes for only an hour per day, and at times, we don’t get water for weeks,” Sharif Qureshi, a resident of Rawalpindi complained. “Initially, WASA should ensure the provision of clean and adequate water supply as per the needs of each home, then it should resort to increasing the charges.”

The president of Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran Sabzi Mandi Ghulam Qadir Mir termed the choice of sending separate payments to every store of a plaza and every flooring of a three-storey constructing as “cruel.”

He asserted that WASA didn’t provide water as per the requirement of every store a lot so that folks had been compelled to purchase mineral water bottles for consuming functions. He additional added that many individuals should fetch water from filtration crops positioned at distant places from their companies.

“We will not accept this cruelty!” Qadir mentioned.

The Divisional President of All Pakistan Non-public Faculty Administration Affiliation (APPSMA) Abrar Ahmed Khan additionally criticised WASA and mentioned that a rise of virtually 900% within the water payments of all personal colleges is completely unfair.

“Educational institutions are not commercial. They are built to serve the society,” he mentioned. “WASA ought to cost not more than Rs1,000 monthly from colleges.

Revealed in The Specific Tribune, March 21st, 2020.



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