Ahead of 2020 Assembly elections in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, August 27, announced 100 percent waiver on arrears on water bills until November 30.
Addressing a press conference, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo clarified that those who have functional water meters at their homes can only avail the scheme. "Today we are announcing a scheme to waive arrears to clean up Delhi Jal Board's books. Some of these arrears are due to consumers but some are also due to incorrect billing," Kejriwal said.
The announcement comes days after the Delhi government offered two other poll sops:
- Free rides on public transport, including Delhi Metro and DTC buses, for women.
- Free electricity up to 200 units in Delhi.
The Delhi government is openly inviting the people of the state to join the mainstream and install water meters. "Only those consumers who have installed meters before 30 Nov will get the benefit of this scheme," the Delhi chief minister said.
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
The chief minister said that around 10.5 lakh people who come under the E, F, G and H categories of water consumers will get a 100 percent waiver on water arrears. Those who come under categories -- A and B -- will get a waiver of 25 percent. C category consumers will get a 50 percent waiver of their water arrears and D category will get 75 percent.
However, Kejriwal clarified that the 100 percent waiver on late-payment charges will be applicable across all categories.
The Delhi CM stated that at least Rs 2,500 crore is due from domestic water users, and Rs 1,500 crore from commercial users. While making the announcement, Kejriwal said that more than 13 lakh residents of Delhi will benefit from the move.
This move will also help the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to get around Rs 600 crore when people install water meters and pay their water bills after the late-payment fee is waived.