Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced 100 per cent waiver of late-payment charges on water bill till November 30. He said people who have got new water connections are eligible for waiver.
"When we came to power in 2015, the water condition was bad. When I was campaigning, people sat outside their homes with water bills in their hands," Mr Kejriwal said while announcing the scheme ahead of the Delhi election next year.
The Chief Minister said the full water bills of people in categories E, F, G and H - who number around 10.5 lakh - have been waived till March 31 next year.
For those in A and B categories, the waiver is 25 per cent; for C category, it is 50 per cent, and for D category, it is 75 per cent.
The 100 per cent waiver on late-payment charges, however, is applicable across categories, Mr Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is likely to get around Rs 600 crore when people are encouraged to pay their water bills after the late-payment fee is waived, the Chief Minister said, adding at least 13.5 lakh people owe dues to the DJB.
Today's water bills waiver announcement is a major reform in the water sector. Not only will it recover ₹600 crores of revenue, it will also incentivise households to install water meters.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 27, 2019
At least Rs 2,500 crore is due from domestic water users, and Rs 1,500 crore from commercial users, said Mr Kejriwal, who turned 51 this month.
"Anyhow we have improved the water situation in the last few years. Fifty-eight per cent colonies had water pipeline, but others used tankers. It is too sad that even after 70 years of independence, people had no water. We have put pipelines in 95 per cent colonies. The rest will be done soon and work is under process," Mr Kejriwal said.
Today's announcement comes after Mr Kejriwal on Independence Day announced that rides on Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses would be free for women from October 29.
Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party had won 67 of the 70 assembly seats in the Delhi election in 2015. The BJP got only three while the Congress couldn't win even a single seat.