18 villages attached to Palghar Water Scheme, operated by Palghar Nagarparishad, faced discontinuation of water supply for the last 4 days due to non-payment of dues amounting to more than 7.5 crore rupees.
Palghar Water Scheme, which covers 26 Grampanchayats along with Palghar, was started in June 2009. This scheme was handed over to Palghar Nagarparishad for operations and maintenance in Oct 2011. This water scheme is lifting about 12 MLD (million litres per day) from the Surya river, of which half is consumed by Palghar Nagarparishad and Palghar Navnagar (District Headquarters), and the balance half by 18 Grampanchayat attached to this scheme.
Palghar civic body handles operations of water scheme
The pumping of water from the well, filtration, disinfection and distribution are the operations handled by the Palghar Nagarparishad. The total receivables for the 18 grampanchats are more than 7.5 crore rupees. The scheme operator has to pay more than 25 lakh rupees as electrical bills every month and the unavailability of the fund has compelled them to take a tough stand of disconnection.
The beneficiaries of the water scheme from the Palghar Nagarparishad area are paying Rs 14 per thousand litres whereas the 18 Grampanchayat beneficiaries are charged Rs6 for the same quantity. This disparity has resulted in the unavailability of funds for the payment of dues to the water scheme operator. No solution in this regard has been reached on the issue.
MP Rajendra Gavit tries to resolve the issue
After the water supply was disconnected, MP Rajendra Gavit conveyed a meeting of all the concerned members of the water scheme on Jan 4. The 18 villages were expected to pay 27% of the cost of filtration, the cost of TCL and Alum power, and the cost of manpower required for this process. MP Gavit suggested paying a partial amount of Rs 10 lakhs for the arrears and asking the government for the payment of the balance amount regarding the payables on behalf of 18 villages.
'Difficult to operate scheme without funds'
Palghar Nagarparishad has given a work order for the water meters to be installed to calculate the actual usage of water. This will help to understand the actual usage of water by these 18 villages.
FPJ asked Pankaj Pawar, the CO of Palghar Nagarparishad, about the decision of disconnection. He said Palghar Nagarparishad has not received any amount against the outstanding billed amount in the last six years. It is difficult to operate the water scheme with limited resources, he said.
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