Nagpur: In a major decision that could ruffle the feathers of citizens, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will henceforth stop supplying water through tankers free of cost in “network” and “non network” areas. Now, whoever needed water through tanker will have to pay charges as fixed by the local body. This “historic” decision was taken in the General Body Meeting (GBM), the first of new NMC regime, held Mahal-based Town Hall on Monday (March 20). The proposal was passed on majority basis amid vociferous protest by Opposition Corporators.
Apprising the House on behalf of NMC Administration about the issue, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said that supply of water through tankers in “non network” areas costs the local body Rs 15 crore. This expenditure is recovered from water tax payees. In order to lessen this burden of water tax payees, it has been proposed not to supply water through tankers without charges. According to this proposal, charges will be levied on seekers of water through tankers, the Commissioner said. Reacting to the proposal, the former Mayor Pravin Datke demanded the recoverable charges to the minimum.
The House also approved removal of occupancy certificate condition mandatory for new water connection.
Deliberating on the proposal, members of the ruling as well as opposition parties raised the issue of less charges being levied for water supply to residents staying in 500 sq ft or less construction area. In reply, the Ruling Party Leader asked the members to discuss the issue in the meeting of NESL which is working in NMC for water supply. On the other hand, an Independent Corporator demanded increase in units to slum-dwellers. Currently, slum-dwellers are supplied 10 units of water for Rs 40 per month. The ruling party members demanded the Mayor to increase the units from 10 to 12, 12 to 15 and 15 to 20 units.
During the discussion, Corporator Abha Pandey raised the issue of thefts of meters installed by Water Works Department outside the residences in old Nagpur. She informed that installation of new meters in place of stolen meters costs Rs 1600-1800 to the applicants. “The Water Works Department should install water meters inside the residences instead of outside to curb thefts,” she said and also demanded cancellation of charges to be levied for new meters.
Congress Corporator Zulfikar Ahmed Bhutto raised a question whether the NMC administration recovers water tax for clean water supply or polluted water supply? This aspect should be kept in mind by Administration before hiking the water tariff.
Department Head lacks knowledge of occupancy certificate rules:
The senior Corporators Dayashankar Tiwari and Balya Borkar demanded the administration to explain to the House the meaning and rules and regulations of occupancy certificate. In a “swift” reply, the Head of Town Planning Department said that he at present not aware but would inform the House later after going through the meaning and rules and regulations of occupancy certificate. Enraged by the reply, Dayashankar Tiwari, drawing the attention of Mayor Nanda Jichkar, said that if this the situation with a Head of Department then what could be expected from common people. What warranted the raising of the issue was that a builder had not procured occupancy certificate hence the residents of the building were being supplied water at commercial rate. Intervening on the subject, the Leader of Opposition demanded that all such connections be changed to residential connections and the dues recovered so far be adjusted towards Property Tax dues.
In the end, the Ruling Party Leader demanded action against such builders under the provisions of MRTP Act. The residents should not pay the price for the builder’s folly. The administration should initiate action against the builders within 15 days. At the same the administration should make public the list of “defaulter builders.”