With the nudge coming from the top, the army on Monday started coughing up tax for the consumption of water by its establishments under the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC).
Officials said the army authorities paid the CMC Rs 7 lakh during the day as arrears, as well as current charges, for water consumed by its set-up on Ballygunge Circular Road, following a directive from defence minister George Fernandes.
Fort William, headquarters of the Eastern Command, on which the civic authorities have slapped a Rs 21-lakh water bill, is also expected to pay up shortly.
“I congratulate the defence minister for keeping the promise he made to me when he came to Calcutta some months ago,” said mayor Subrata Mukherjee, when contacted in London on Monday, referring to Fernandes’ visit to attend the Trinamul Congress Brigade Parade Grounds rally on January 6.
The CMC had been trying for about 15 years to realise water charges from defence establishments, which number more than 20, said chief engineer (water supply) Dibyendu Roychaudhury.