Municipal Corporation, Shimla urges the Chief Minister to rationalize sewerage cess



    The elected representatives of Shimla Municipal Corporation comprising of the Mayor Mr. Sanjay Chauhan, Deputy Mayor Mr. Tekinder Panwar and councilors namely Surender Chauhan, Kalyan Dhiman, Usha Lakhanpal, Deepak Rohal, Anup Vaid and Sushant Kaprate met the Chief Minister demanding the lowering of sewerage cess from 50 per cent to 15 per cent.

    The delegations while talking to media persons said that the Chief Minister has assured that a meeting would soon be called and the matter would be resolved. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor have further stated that this cess has been thoroughly debated in the Municipal Corporation house and has been out rightly rejected by the Shimla Municipal Corporation. Unanimous resolutions have been passed thrice rejecting the 50 per cent sewerage cess and instead the house has resolved to continue with 15 per cent.

    It is indeed ironic to note that the state government has crippled the Shimla Municipal Corporation, which has the mandate to levy cess or user charges under the Municipal Corporation Act. This is a complete decimation of the 74th constitutional amendment that speaks about strengthening of the urban local bodies. Despite several reminders the government in the most stubborn manner has continued the 50 per cent cess, Mr. Tekinder Panwar alleged.

    “The whole argument that the IPH has levied this percentage throughout the state uniformly is completely bogus. The IPH charges Rupees 30 per month on water and then 50 per cent on that would just amount to Rupeess 45 per month, which does not pinch much. But in Shimla the charges as mandated by the government are too high. For water supplied on domestic basis the minimum charge is Rupees 275 and a sewerage cess of 50 per cent takes the amount to Rupees 412 per month which is too huge” added Mr.Panwar.

    Since in Shimla there are 3 sets of water metering which is domestic, commercial and construction where 30 per cent happens to be the latter and their bills jump phenomenally high because of 50 per cent cess. The government is mounting tremendous burden on the residents of Shimla, the Deputy Mayor stated.

    However they have further castigated the government and explained it was the same leadership in 2005, which increased this cess to 50 per cent. However it was in 2014 that the present government asked for its implementation. Despite several resolutions of the Municipal Corporation the house has been rejecting this neo liberal dictum and the present government continues to mount burden on the people.



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