Water dearer in summer

Potable water supplied by the Muzaffarpur Municipal Corporation is likely to become costlier with the government directing the civic body to ration the township's water consumption.

The urban development department has directed commissioner Arun Kumar to explore possibilities to limit the consumption of potable water at a sum.

The move aims to increase the revenue flow of the cash-starved corporation.

The proposal to limit the consumption or decide the amount would be tabled in the next meeting of the corporation board, said commissioner Kumar. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for February-end of early March.

In the move to implement the urban development department's directions, the corporation has expedited the work of imposing the water tax on people living under its jurisdiction.

The civic body plans to set up meters in houses falling under its jurisdiction to read the water use and charge the corresponding tax from house owners.

Apart from charging water tax, the civic body has also decided to delink the charge for water supply from the corporation's holding tax.

Now, residents pay holding tax to the corporation that includes 23 per cent of water charge. With the state government revising holding tax as "property tax", the residents would pay the property tax separately and the water tax separately.

The corporation board is expected to give the final seal on the delinking of the taxes too in its next board meeting. "The members of the board have been informed about the seriousness of the state government in rationing water consumption for a charge. This is being done to increase the corporation's fund flow," Kumar said.

Another move of the corporation to increase the funds flow is framing laws for prior approval to dig hand pumps or borings at home for water.

House owners in the corporation area would need to seek permission from the board and deposit a fee for digging water resources at home.

"The sum to be charged would be decided at the board's meeting. It would be a one-time charge," said Kumar.