The recently announced hike pertaining to power tariff has added up to the crisis of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB). The board, which has maintained a steady price and not hiked the water tariff over a period of six years, will have aggravated losses considering 25-paise per unit raise pertaining to power tariff for water supply installations.
According to the revelation of sources from BWSSB to Deccan Herald, the power tariff hike declared by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), would lead to monthly losses of Rs. 10 – 15 crore. As per a senior officer in BWSSB, the electricity payment of the board is around Rs. 46 crore for pumping water. And, the total bill per month estimates to Rs. 55 crore when BWSSB offices and other installations are counted.
Apart from the electricity charges, the board’s expenditure also consists of staff salaries and maintenance, along with water supply under the government schemes. And, water tariff is the only mode of revenue generation for the board.
BWSSB chairman N Jayaram confirmed the adverse impact of the power tariff hike on the board’s finances, saying it would cause a blow to them equitably. He said, “It’s an additional burden on us but we will have to pay up until the government clears our proposal to revise the water tariff.”
For cutting down on the losses, the board had presented three proposals to the Karnataka government in February 2020.
The proposals highlighted tariff revision which would aid in recovering the maintenance costs and borrowed amount, help in settling the loans taken from any financial institutions and also help in managing the operation and maintenance cost. Presently, the rate of BWSSB is Rs. 7 per kilolitre for consuming till 8,000 litres and Rs. 11 per kilolitre for consumption ranging from 8,001 litres to 25,000 litres per month. There are separate charges also for borewell and sanitary connections.
When questioned on any margin regarding water hike, Jayaram answered about no specific percentage concluded yet. He said, “The BWSSB is only looking at recovering the current maintenance costs under the principle of no loss, no gain.”