Puducherry, Aug 13 : The Puducherry administration would soon enhance sewerage and domestic water tariffs as part of recovering the operation and maintenance cost of water supply and sewerage services, according to Public Works Department (PWD) secretary P R Meena.
Addressing a regional workshop on 'energy and efficiency management' here yesterday, Mr Meena said it was proposed to fix and collect one time deposit and monthly sewerage tariff for the sewerage connections. Though a notification in this regard was issued, it has not gone into implementation due to lacuna in the policy. It was being re-notified to all users, instead of limiting it to only beneficiaries of Puducherry under 'Comprehensive Sewerage Scheme for the urban areas of Puducherry' (CSSUAP), he added.
With the government implementing the underground sewerage scheme at an outlay of Rs 203.4 crore with financial assistance under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme (80 per cent central government funding), the recovery of operation and maintenance cost was one among the reforms mandated. It was necessary to recover 80 per cent of the operation and maintenance cost,he said.The speed in CSSUAP implementation will pick up with the central government having sanctioned Rs 43 crore last week, Mr Meena said.
The sewerage charges proposed for domestic and residential buildings range from Rs 15 to Rs 35 per connection and deposit of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. For apartments the monthly tariff is Rs 35 for each unit and Rs 10,000 as deposit. For commercial buildings the monthly tariff ranges from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000 per connection with deposit of Rs 5,000 to 25,000. Similarly, the revision of domestic water tariff has also been proposed, for recovering the Operation and Maintenance cost(OM), said Mr Meena. It had been revised in 1993 and since then the user charges remained unchanged. However, is not possible to suddenly recover the entire OM cost.
It is awaiting Cabinet's approval. The Puducherry government needs to be careful with its polices, as the production and supply of water was unsustainable, said Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi. Though the production charges ranged between Rs 12 crore to 15 crore, the recovery was between Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore, he said at a presentation given at Energy and Resources Efficiency in Urban water management by CSE. Moreover, only 30 per cent of the sewage generated is treated at the two treatment plants having a unified capacity of 17.5 Million Litres per day (MLD).