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KUKL proposes 127 percent tariff hike




The Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) has proposed 127 percent hike in the minimum tariff for drinking water.
“KUKL has proposed hiking the minimum tariff for drinking water to Rs 125 from the existing Rs 55,” said Hari Prasad Sharma, director general of the Water Tariff Fixation Commission (WTFC).

KUKL, which supplies 60 million liters of water to 3.2 million people, meets only less than 20percent of the demand for water in the Kathmandu Valley. There is a demand for 320 million liters of drinking water in the Valley.

Apart from the 2.6 million Valley residents, over half a million people who visit the capital for various reasons also use the water supplied by KUKL, according to the Department of Urban Development.

According to Sharma, the office had asked KUKL to bring down the proposed hike as it had earlier proposed setting the minimum tariff at Rs 151. “We had asked them to bring down the hike fearing public backlash,” added Sharma.

KUKL Spokesperson Milan Kumar Shakya said the drinking water facility had last hiked the tariff in 2008. He said the office runs on tariff it receives from consumers.
“KUKL will not be able to supply water if there is no tariff hike,” said Shakya, adding “There needs to be regular tariff adjustment in line with the rate of inflation.”
As per the existing laws, WTFC is authorized to hike or decrease the proposed tariff by 20 percent, said Sharma. The commission will also consult the finance ministry, other government bodies and consumers before finalizing the tariff.

Meanwhile, consumer rights activists have filed a complaint at the commission demanding withdrawal of the tariff hike process.
Advocate Bimala Khanal, secretary at the Forum for Protection of Consumers Rights, said that they have filed a complaint demanding adequate supply of drinking water before any such hike. “It would be injustice to consumers to be forced to pay Rs 125 without receiving a single drop of water,” she added.
“The consumers should protest the move. If the commission does not pay heed we will move the Supreme Court,” said Khanal.

Source: republica DailyLink:
Published on 2013-06-24 02:48:35

About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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