Mumbai: Western and Central Railways owe civic body Rs568 cr in water bills

The Western and Central Railways owe the BMC around Rs568 crore in the form of the unpaid water bill. Information under the Right to Information (RTI) revealed that the Western Railway has to pay Rs308,85,65,247 and the Central Railway has to pay 259,93,79,418. Samir Zaveri an RTI activist had made the RTI application in the BMC.

Kalpesh Mhamunkar Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, December 16, 2022, 03:22 AM IST
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Mumbai: The Western and Central Railways owe the BMC around Rs568 crore in the form of the unpaid water bill. Information under the Right to Information (RTI) revealed that the Western Railway has to pay Rs308,85,65,247 and the Central Railway has to pay 259,93,79,418. Samir Zaveri an RTI activist had made the RTI application in the BMC.

Chief Hydraulic Engineer of BMC Purushottam Malavade said, “There are pending bills which the railway should pay. But it is the Central Government Department, we can't cut their water connections. Apart from that, lakhs of commuters travel by train and we don't want to disturb the functioning of the railways by cutting water connection.”

However, raising the question over the billing process, a senior officer of the railway said, "There was a dispute between railways and the BMC regarding payment of sewage charges to be paid but the issue was settled in 2015 and railways have paid all the dues till then.”

“It has been noticed that the online bills raised by the BMC since 2002 and prior to that have two components viz water bill and penalty and additional charges,” he said.

“Railways are making regular payments to BMC but the billing system adjusts penalty and other automated charges first and the balance is credited towards the bill. This has caused the arrears amount shown against railways. Under Abhay Yojana, Railways were advised to pay the dues so that penalty can be waived off.

Railways are in communication with BMC on the issue of waiver of penalty. Current bills are being paid regularly. Pending arrears, except penalty, will be paid for which sanction of the competent authority is being obtained," an official said.

FPJ had tried to contact Samir Zaveri but he didn't respond to the call.

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