Metropolis’s water quota decreased; should pay increased fee for drawing extra

Nagpur: The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) has reportedly approved the city’s revised raw drinking water entitlement and reservation submitted by the water resources department (WRD). The city has got only 50% of required raw drinking water reservation. TOI had reported about the WRD’s revised reservation on April 7.
Despite getting less reservation, the city will get the required quantum of raw drinking water, according to WRD sources. But the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will have to pay 1.5 to 2 times more for utilization above the allocated reservation. This in turn will result in citizens paying a higher water tariff.

Former Shiv Sena MLA from Ramtek, Ashish Jaiswal had filed a petition challenging WRD’s water reservation to municipal bodies, industries and irrigation from Totladoh (Pench) irrigation reservoir. Hearing the petition, the MWRRA had directed the WRD to re-calculate water eligibility and reservation of the NMC in the hearing held on March 15.

Accordingly, the WRD had calculated the city’s entitlement and reservation at 139.03 million meter cube (MMC) as against the NMC’s requirement of 269.7 MMC. It was submitted to the MWRRA on which the final hearing was conducted on Tuesday in Mumbai.

Sources from the WRD told TOI that the MWRRA accepted the entitlement and reservation calculated by the WRD and it will come into effect with immediate effect.

MWRRA is likely to issue the order after May 17. MWRRA has asked the NMC and Jaiswal to submit their written say on the WRD’s calculation within four weeks.

Jaiswal told TOI that and the farmers will not allow the WRD to release a single drop to the NMC above the approved reservation. “MWRRA’s norms say the city is eligible for 135 litres per capita per day (LPCD). Accordingly, the WRD has to calculate the entitlement. And, WRD has to deduct percentage of less storage in reservoirs in entitlement and finalize the reservation. Now, it is up to the NMC to utilize the water judiciously and also create its own raw water sources,” he said, adding that the NMC has been ignoring this and utilizing water meant for agriculture.

The NMC will have to pay much more for raw drinking water from now. For the first time, the WRD has given reservation separately for drinking and non-drinking purpose.

A reservation of 118.05 MMC has been finalized for drinking and 21.01 MMC for non-drinking purpose. The tariff for drinking raw water is 25 paise per 1,000 litres while for non-drinking purpose it is Rs4.5 per 1,000 litres.

Moreover, the NMC will have to pay 1.5 times of tariff for utilization above 115% of reservation up to 140% and 2 times more for above 140% utilization.

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