7 lakh Delhi consumers to have pending water bills completely waived off
NEW DELHI: In a major move to provide relief to lakhs of Delhi’ites, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has introduced a comprehensive Time Settlement Scheme, which is expected to benefit a staggering 11.7 lakh consumers.
“Today we are announcing a major scheme for the residents of Delhi. I think that the people of Delhi had been waiting for this for several months now,” CM Kejriwal said.
“The water bills of some residents have been accumulating for a while now. There are several reasons for this. The major reason being that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the meter reading for several households was not possible,” he said.
“There were also some cases of people, who were supposed to note down the water metre at the time, providing incorrect data as they could not physically carry out their duties. In some households, wrong bills were sent, and so on,” he said.
💧 दिल्ली में पानी की कमी कैसे खत्म करेंगे?
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) June 13, 2023
The Delhi CM said that there are 27.6 lakh domestic water metres in the city. He said that out of this, there are arrears on 11.7 lakh water bills.
“Due to some reason or another, the people residing in these 11.7 lakh households have refused to pay their bills. The total amount that these bills add up to is ₹5,737 crore,” he said.
He explained that when a person gets a water bill that he believes is incorrect, he then goes around to his MLA office or the DJB office and tries to explain the anomaly.
“Since there is an AAP-led government in Delhi, he expects relief from us. So, the bill eventually continues to rise and so do the arrears. If we tried to fix all these bills and get into the reasons for the anomaly, then it would take us over 100 years to sort this out. So, it was not possible to do that. Therefore, we have come up with a one-time settlement scheme for such households,” he said.
Explaining the details of the scheme, the Delhi CM said that all the bills have been divided into two categories. The first category is the one in which there are two “okay readings” – in these, the metre reader has gone and read the bill twice at least and both parties acknowledge this. The second category is the one in which there is either one or nil “okay” reading.
“In the first case, where there are at least two-metre readings, the average of the reading will be considered in such cases. If there are three readings and if one of the readings is greater than double the previous reading, then it will be taken out of consideration,” he said.
“In those cases where there is one or nil reading, then we will look into the water bill of the neighbourhood. Since the houses will be of the same size, we will get the data from the DJB of the bills in the area and take out their average, and this is the bill that the person will have to pay,” he added.
Kejriwal said that in this manner, the state government hopes to sort out all of these 11.7 lakh pending water bills in the city.
“When we analysed the water bills of these 11.7 lakh households and applied the formulas of our one-time settlement scheme, we noticed that over 7 lakh households would get a zero bill. This is because their consumption will fall below the 20 kilolitre mark that is already exempted by the state government.,” he said.
“So, therefore, for over 7 lakh consumers, their bills will become zero and all of their arrears will be cleared off. There are 1.5 lakh consumers who will fall into the category that is between 20 and 30 kiloliters. The remaining fall over this limit,” he said.
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