The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) plans to revise the water and sewerage charges for domestic and commercial consumers in core and added areas from April 1. Residents will have to pay 5% and commercial consumers 10% more than the existing rates.
The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board is also planning an increase in its tariff structure. Unlike CMWSSB, The TWAD Board supplies water to the rural and urban local bodies in the State. It is planning to submit the proposal to the government as it has been incurring a heavy loss, as the production cost is 40%-50% more than the supply cost, said TWAD officials.
In Chennai, consumers who were paying a monthly charge of ₹80 would have to pay ₹84 and the increase for commercial establishments would be ₹263 per month, up from the present ₹250. Similarly, tariff for metered connections starts from ₹42 (up to 10 kilo litres) instead of the existing ₹40 for the residential structures.
The charges for the paid mobile water tanker supply would go up by 5% for residential structures and 10% for commercial firms. For a 6-kilo litre tanker load, residents would have to pay ₹499 instead of the present ₹475. An additional ₹35 would be charged for the 9-kilo litre load charged at ₹700.
CMWSSB moved to increase the tariff to bridge the gap between the revenue and the growing expenditure. The charges for the paid water tanker supply have also been increased by 5% for residential and 10% for commercial structures.
The water tariff revision was carried out last in May 2018 for domestic and partly commercial consumers. Though an annual increase of 5% was proposed then, it was not implemented following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sources in CMWSSB said the revision would bring in an additional revenue of ₹30-₹35 crore every year. The water and sewerage charges had to be increased owing to the hikes in operation cost. While ₹7-₹8 is being incurred in production cost per kilo litre of surface water, nearly ₹37 is being spend towards per kilo litre of water produced at desalination plants.
Residents, however, wanted the water agency to cover the entire city with the digital metering system and be charged according to the use. There are nearly 8.3 lakh consumers in the city.
The water agency has also asked residents to pay water and sewerage taxes by the first fortnight of every half year to avoid penalty. It has so far collected ₹700 crore as tax and charges this fiscal.