The Right to Information (RTI) replies reveal that several central and state government departments are the largest defaulters of water bills and collectively owe Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) Rs 1,519 crore.
While state government departments owe 1,267 crores to the water board, the central government owes 252 crores. The largest defaulter in the state is Mission Bhagiratha, with Rs 601 crore. Others are panchayat raj (Rs 594 crore) and health (Rs 42 crore).
According to Forum for Good Governance (FGG) secretary M Padmanabha Reddy, water boards receive most of their revenue from water charges. Citizens pay the charges regularly. The problem lies with government institutions.
A lack of funds has prevented the water board from replacing old, rusty supply lines, resulting in contaminated water. By not paying water fees, the government sets a wrong example,” Reddy said.
The GHMC Act states that property taxes include taxes for water, drainage, lighting, etc. When a citizen pays property taxes to the GHMC, he automatically pays the water and drainage taxes. But the Water Board collects these taxes separately, which amounts to double payment for providing water.
Although the chief general manager (revenue) of the water board has regularly pursued the matter of pending dues, no response has been received from the government.
It requested that the chief secretary issue instructions to all heads of departments and other officials to clear pending water charges so that the board could improve its services.
Telangana objects The Krishna water-sharing ratio of the Centre
For the year 2022-23, Telangana has lodged a strong protest with the Centre against continuing the Krishna river water-sharing arrangement in the ratio of 66:34, ignoring its request for 50:50 sharing.
According to Telangana special chief secretary (irrigation) Rajat Kumar, at the 16th board meeting of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on May 6, the state government requested equal.
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