Two days after Minister for Power MM Mani announced a hike in electricity charges, Kerala Water Authority (KWA) has put forward its plan to increase the water tariff in the state. The increase in water fees is to compensate for the extra charges that will be incurred on KWA due to the hike in power tariffs.
Water Resource Minister K Krishnankutty on Wednesday told Mathrubhumi that a final decision will be taken only after further discussions are held with the Chief Minister and other officials. The minister also said that the Kerala Water Authority was undergoing severe financial crisis, despite undertaking strict measures to stem losses.
At present, KWA charges Rs 4 for 1,000 litre water. About 15,000 litre water is also given free of cost to families below the poverty line, but KWA has suffered a loss of Rs 365 crore because of this alone
â€śIncrease in tariff is inevitable but it will only be implemented after analysing how it will affect various sections of society,â€ť the minister said.
Water tariffs were last increased in 2009. Although the water authority has asked the government to introduce higher charges, it has not yet been approved. At present, the KWA is getting subsidies from the government for water charges, but it will not be possible to get more aid from the government. The report regarding increased tariff rates will be submitted to the government after estimating how much more will the department have to incur due to hike in power charges.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Monday had announced that power charges will be increased by 6.8 percent. As per the revised charges, domestic users consuming up to 50 units of power per month will have to pay an excess of Rs 18. And those consuming 100 units of power per month will have to pay an excess of Rs 42.