Noida Authority on Wednesday announced a hike in the city's water charges after five years. There will be a 25 per cent hike in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial areas, whereas for properties used by residents below poverty line — such as Shramik Kunj, EWS (economically weaker section) flats and villages — the hike will be 10 per cent. The hike has been made applicable from April 1, the new financial year.
SC Arora, senior project engineer, Noida Authority, told City Spidey that the hike was directed at increasing revenue for the Authority, as it was getting difficult to meet expenses.
So far, per month, the Authority was charging Rs 175 from MIG (middle income group) flat owners; Rs 210 from HIG (high income group) flat owners; Rs 260 from duplex flat owners; Rs 250 from owners of 200 sq m plots; and Rs 470 from owners of 350 sq m plots.
To work out how much the water tariffs had to be raised to generate enough revenue, Noida Authority hired a private agency, Ernst & Young.
Residents, however, are not happy with the hike.
Rajiva Singh, president of Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Association (NOFAA), said the Authority should first concentrate on improving the quality of water supplied to high-rises and ensure it was enough to meet the demand of residents. "Right now," he said, "both the quality and the quantity of water are woefully low. We will not have to instal RO filters in our homes and buy water bottles only if Noida Authority does its bit,” he said.
According to experts, Noida is expected to have a population of 21 lakh by 2021, up from the current 15 lakh. The total demand for water now is 332 MLD (million litres per day); and the estimated demand by 2021 will be 590 MLD, almost double. Noida Authority already mixes 44 per cent groudwater to the 56 per cent Ganga water in its supply to residents.
Price hikes apart, residents wonder how Noida Authority intends to meet this demand by 2021.