Flat-owners and tenants of government housing estates in the middle and low-income brackets will soon have to shell out Rs 180 a month as water tax to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC).
Having decided to phase out deep tubewells from government residential estates, the housing department has recently entered into an agreement with the CMC to supply filtered water to these households.
“We will supply filtered water to government housing estates according to their needs, against a rate of Rs 10 per 1,000 litres,” said member, mayor-in-council (water) Sovan Chatterjee.
At the direction of minister for housing and public health engineering Goutam Deb, a dozen officials of the housing and public health engineering departments and office-bearers of government housing tenants’ associations met Chatterjee in his office last week and finalised the agreement.
To start with, about a thousand flat-owners in the north Calcutta housing estates will be brought under the scheme. There are over 19,000 flats distributed over 35 government housing estates in the city.
Belgachhia Villa housing estate, LIG housing estate on the Bengal Veterinary College campus, MIG housing estate on the B.V. College campus and the rental housing estate in Belgachhia Milk Colony will be the first lot to receive filtered water from the CMC. Flat-owners or tenants in the housing estates of Sahapur and Paschim Barisha will be brought under the tax net subsequently.
Mayor-in-council Chatterjee said the representatives of housing estates who attended the meeting welcomed the decision, as “it would assure uninterrupted supply of filtered water round the year”. He added: “Some of them said that they have to purchase water from outside, as the deep tubewells are unfit for use.”
According to the housing department’s chief engineer A. Mukherjee, there are 304 rental and ownership flats for the middle-income group (MIG) at 37, Belgachhia Road, while the number of flats for the lower-income group (LIG) on the veterinary college campus is 312.
Belgachhia Villa has 280 MIG and LIG flats and all the 112 flats in Milk Colony have been let out by the housing department on a rental basis.
It has been decided that each flat will get around 600 litres of water a day. The total requirement of all the flats of the four housing estates has been estimated at 608,000 litres a day.