Revised water rates to affect bottling plants

ST Correspondent
Friday, 19 January 2018

“While proposing the hike, we have ensured that citizens in rural areas and farmers do not feel the pinch, while at the same time, we tried to put the burden on the industrial sector,” said Bakshi.

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) has revised the water tax rates across the State. These new rates will majorly impact water bottling plants and breweries, which may lead to hike in prices of beer, soft drinks and bottled water. 

The water tax for domestic water will increase by 16 per cent to 20 per cent in municipal corporation areas. 

The new water tax rates for industries will range between Rs 40 to Rs 80 per 10,000 litres, which was Rs 30 to Rs 60. Breweries, soft drink, and bottled water plants will have to pay 5-6 times more than the tax industries would. It will range between Rs 200 to Rs 400 per 10,000 liters, from Rs 45 to Rs 90 earlier.

In grampanchayat area, the rate will be unchanged but the supply has been increased by 40 per cent per person per day. It has been increased to 55 litres per person per day from 40 litres per person per day. 

Those using water supplied for agriculture use will have to pay 16 per cent more tax.

The rate of domestic water supplies to corporation limits and councils will be hiked by 20 per cent. The existing rate of 21 paise will be increased to 25 paise per thousand liters.

In council areas, the rate will become 18 paise from 15.8 paise per thousand litres. 

Townships have to pay more as the rates have been increased to Rs 1.25 from 21 paise per thousand litres. 

“We have recommended the rates for various uses. However, each local body has to take a final call on whether to apply these rates or lesser rates,” said KP Bakshi, President, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority . 

The MWRRA has also made it mandatory for civic bodies to display all information about water supply in public domain. 

“The last revision was done in 2011. The hike proposed is the inflation rate of 63 per cent during this period. 

“While proposing the hike, we have ensured that citizens in rural areas and farmers do not feel the pinch, while at the same time, we tried to put the burden on the industrial sector,” said Bakshi.

“For agriculture, we have decided to apply rates on the per cubic litre basis, instead of per hectare basis as done earlier. 

“This will also help in saving water and to smoothen the process of billing,” said VM Kulkarni, member, MWRRA.

The new revised water tax rates for various industries will range between Rs 40 to Rs 80 per 10,000 liters, which was Rs 30 to Rs 60. Breweries, soft drink, and bottled water plants will have to pay 5-6 times more than the tax industries would. It will range between Rs 200 to Rs 400 per 10,000 liters, from Rs 45 to Rs 90 earlier.

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