MARGAO: In what could come as a big relief to over a lakh of residential flats in over 5000 residential buildings and Housing societies, the PWD Minister assured to extend the free 16000 water scheme to residential Multi-dwelling buildings, and further assured that the difference in bills already paid by the residential complexes shall be adjusted against the future bills. On behalf of all the Multi-dwelling building’s/complexes, the SCM thanked the Hon’ble Minister, Nilesh Cabral conceding to their requests.
The Shadow Council for Margao yesterday submitted a memorandum Objecting to the method for billing residential Multi-dwelling buildings/Complexes/Housing Societies for water.
In the memorandum, the Shadow Council for Margao has also requested to grant benefits of 16000 litres of free water to Multi-dwelling residential premises as well. SCM Convener Savio Coutinho stated that the PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral has categorically assured to extend the free water scheme to residential flats/Societies.
In the memorandum, the SCM brought to the notice of the Minister that the PWD, the water supply department, has adopted a program/software for billing Multi-dwelling residential premises; and the bills issued through this program/software are not in conformity with the Notification of the government dtd 30/08/2021.
“The Chief Minister and so also the PWD Minister have repeatedly stated that 16000 litres would be free of cost if you consume less water. And here, in the case of collective living ie. Multi-Dwelling residential premises, the department is billing the consumers for the units that are not consuming. Thus proving that either the scheme announced is defective or the calculations are faulty,” Coutinho stated.
SCM produced the Notification of the government No. 8-4/CE-PWD-Accts/2020-21/640 dtd. 30/08/2021, in which it is very clearly explained with an example that
“where a common domestic water connection to 2 or more houses/flats/Duplex is provided the basis for calculation of the tariff shall be on the number of houses/flats/duplex depending on the common water connection.
For example, in case one common water connection feeds, say 50 Nos. Residential flats in a complex, it shall be charged at the rate applicable after dividing the consumption by 50 for the domestic consumers in the Category at Sr.No. A
However, for mysterious unknown reasons, the 16 units(16000 lts) is multiplied by the number of dwelling units, and in doing so, there is a huge difference in the number of units that as billed as compared to the units actually consumed.
“The free water scheme is claimed to have been designed so that people would save water to avail the scheme benefit. However, the faulty billing system adopted for the Multi-dwelling residential premises contrarily promotes wastage of water since the department is forcibly collecting charges for water (units) they have not consumed at all”, Coutinho lamented.
“It is indeed beyond any justification or reasoning to consider residential flats different from residential bungalows/houses”, SCM Convener said.
The residents in residential buildings/Complexes/Society’s should however understand that only those Multi dwelling building’s/complexes who consume less than the prescribed 16000lts per flat per month will benefit out of the extension of the free water scheme. Those, Multi dwelling buildings/complexes which cross the limit of free supply, will be charged as per the rates notified by the government.