Delhi's CM Kejriwal calls all-party meeting on increased water bills today

Under the new scheme, effective August 1, the government will completely waive off the pending water bills of 7 lakh consumers.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an all-party meeting on Thursday on the issue of increased water bills in Delhi. The meeting will be held today at 4 pm at CM's residence. 

The Kejriwal government wants to bring a one-time settlement scheme regarding increased water bills, this will be discussed in the all-party meeting, the party source added. 

Earlier on June 14, 2023, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the 'One Time Settlement Scheme' for pending water bills of consumers in the national capital.With approximately 27.6 lakh consumers in Delhi, 11.7 lakh consumers have been burdened with outstanding dues amounting to a total of Rs 5,737 crore, the CMO stated.

Under the new scheme, effective August 1, the government will completely waive off the pending water bills of 7 lakh consumers. This initiative aims to provide immense relief to those who have been struggling to meet their obligations.

Addressing a press conference, CM Kejriwal had said, "We are announcing a major scheme for the residents of Delhi. I think that the people of Delhi have been waiting for this for several months now. The water bills of some residents have been accumulating for a while now."

"There are several reasons for this. The major reason is that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the meter reading for several households was not possible. 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," CM Kejriwal said.

He 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 Rs 5,737 crore. 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 out with a one-time settlement scheme for such households.," he said.

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, the CMO release added.He further expressed the belief that the one-time settlement scheme will go on to benefit most of the consumers in a major way.

"This scheme has been approved by the DJB in their meeting today. Now it needs to come to the Cabinet and there are some other formalities to be completed. We believe that by 1st August it will all be done and we will be able to implement it after that. It will be applicable for a period of three months," he said.

The Delhi CM further added that the new bill that will be generated after August 1 will be based on this and the consumer will have three months to pay and clear off the bill.

"If the consumer fails to pay the new bill within the three-month period then they will fall back to the old policy. Then the consumer will have to pay the pending bill and cannot avail the facility provided by this one-time settlement scheme," he said.

Kejriwal added, "A lot of these problems have been caused either by incorrect meter readings or because the meter readers did not do their job properly. The government is in the process of formulating policies that will bring an end to this problem and the details would be provided to the public in the due course of time".

(This story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from ANI)

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