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Business News/ News / India/  Arvind Kejriwal unveils 'One Time Settlement Scheme' for pending water bills
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Arvind Kejriwal unveils 'One Time Settlement Scheme' for pending water bills

Kejriwal 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.

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

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced the 'One Time Settlement Scheme' for pending water bills of consumers in the national capital.

The CMO informed that with approximately 27.6 lakh consumers in Delhi, 11.7 lakh consumers have been burdened with outstanding dues amounting to a total of 5,737 crore.

Addressing a press conference, CM Kejriwal said, "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. The water bills of some residents have been accumulating for a while now."

Under the new scheme, effective from 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.

"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," he said.

Kejriwal 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 the other, 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. 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.

"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 of the previous reading, then it will be taken out of consideration. 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 its average, and this is the bill that the person will have to pay," Kejriwal said.

He added that 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 will get a zero bill. This is because their consumption will fall below the 20-kilo-litre mark that is already exempted by the state government. 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 in the category that is between 20 and 30 kilo-litre. The remaining fall over this limit," he said.

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.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 14 Jun 2023, 06:21 AM IST
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