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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Monthly water charges in Bengaluru likely to be hiked, hints Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar

The state govt had hiked sales tax on fuel which has made petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively

PTI Bengaluru Published 19.06.24, 04:00 PM
Representational picture

Representational picture File picture

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday indicated that a possible hike in the monthly water charges in the city is on the cards as he highlighted the financial strains faced by the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

Shivakumar, who is also the Minister in-charge of Bengaluru development, said the loss-making BWSSB has not been able to take up new projects.

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The state government had last week hiked sales tax on fuel which has made petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively.

'Since last ten years, the water tariff in Bengaluru has not been increased. It (BWSSB) is suffering a great loss. We have to take up new projects. No bank is coming forward to finance the BWSSB. Now the (Cauvery) fifth phase (water supply project) is going to be completed," Shivakumar told reporters here.

"70 per cent is power bill and labour cost...every year we (BWSSB) are having a big loss. So there is no option. I am working out the possibilities, we are discussing how to set the company right," the Minister said.

Even development agencies like the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank have contended that the water tariff hike issue is being politicised, and no attempt is made to ensure that BWSSB achieves break-even, Shivakumar said. "We want to expand things, we have given six tmc (thousand million cubic feet) more water (from Cauvery) for Bengaluru, we will have to take up one more phase to draw that water."

"There is no option. We want to show that it is an independent company financially and it works independently .....I have asked officials to examine the possibilities (of hike). Let us see, ultimately we will put all facts before the public domain and then we will take a call," he added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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