Pimpri: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to withdraw the proposed five times hike in the water tax due to opposition from other political parties. Interestingly, the step is being taken even after the Standing Committee had approved the new rates. The new hike will be 50 per cent less than what was proposed earlier. With this latest decision, the hike in water tax will be same across India.
The opposition parties i.e. NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS, had protested against the proposed hike in water tariff. BJP corporators too had opposed the rise in water tariff. The proposal was supposed to be discussed in the General Body meeting. However, the meeting was adjourned without having a discussion on the issue recently.
BJP City Unit Chief and MLA Laxman Jagtap agreed to reduce the rates of water tariff after discussing with the office-bearers in the PCMC. Jagtap said, "The water quota from Pawana dam will remain the same. The rise in the water tariff will not lead to a rise in the revenue of the civic body as some people will reduce their water usage."
Jagtap had also has sent a letter to Mayor Nitin Kalje requesting him to reduce the proposed hike.
The municipal corporation has not increased water tariff after 2009-2010. The PCMC earns Rs 25 crore through water tax whereas the annual expenditure of water supply department is Rs 109 crore.
The PCMC needs 450 to 480 million litres (MLD) per day and it pays Rs 11.38 crore to the water resource department annually. Apart from this, the PCMC spends additional Rs 9.23 crore for 30 MLD, purchased from MIDC.