‘Government to Reduce Water Charges’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to reduce water usage charges of commercial establishments and domestic consumers. It has also decided to crack whip on government buildings including Civil Secretariat over the collection of water usage charges.

“We have decided to reduce the water usage charges of domestic consumers and the commercial establishments of Jammu and Kashmir. The government is serious towards the collection of water usage charges and I have directed chief engineers of both the regions to collect the water usages charges from the Civil Secretariat and other government buildings,” PHE Minister Suknandan Kumar told KNS.

He said that government would use its entire PHE work force to tighten the screws on government buildings, hotels, restaurants and guesthouses. “We have done an exercise on revenue collection from the government buildings as well as commercial establishments in J&K. The tentative estimates suggest that we can collect Crores of rupees from government buildings, domestic consumers as well as commercial establishments,” the Minister said.

He revealed that his Department will soon shot a bill for using water to the Civil Secretariat. “At present the government is focusing on installing water usage meters in all the government buildings as well as commercial establishments across J&K,” he added.

Sources said Jammu and Kashmir government was going towards right direction as earlier many government of India schemes under PHE were not being implemented as State was not able to bear its 10 ten per cent share. “For many centrally sponsored schemes, it is necessary for the State to bear its component of 10 per cent to get 90 per cent fund share from center. In most of the PHE schemes, J&K was not able to bear State share, with the result majority of schemes were dying a silent death,” sources said.

The PHE minister added that the collection of water usage charges was halted due to the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir. “See the process was stopped due to the floods in the state but I can say you that money has started coming from the commercial as well as government sectors now,” he said.

Pertinently, the former PHE and Irrigation Minister Taj Mohiudin had introduced a mechanism in 2011 to institutionalize water tariff in Srinagar and Jammu cities by handing over the job of potable water distribution and tariff collection to respective Municipal Corporations of the two capital cities. The guidelines for the move were framed by the J&K Water Resources and Regulatory Authority (JKWRRA), according to which, potable water tariff in all urban areas of the State would be hiked every year.

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