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Delhi CM Kejriwal calls all-party meeting to discuss 'One Time Settlement Scheme' for water bill issue

The all-party meeting convened by CM Kejriwal signifies a concerted effort to address the water bill issue and provide relief to affected consumers. With the proposed one-time settlement scheme, the govt aims to alleviate financial burdens and streamline billing processes for residents of Delhi.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: February 22, 2024 9:35 IST
Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrives at the Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called for an all-party meeting today to address the issue of increased water bills in the capital city. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 4 pm at the Chief Minister's residence. The Kejriwal government aimed to propose a one-time settlement scheme regarding the escalated water bills during the meeting, according to party sources. This scheme seeks to provide relief to consumers burdened with outstanding dues, as previously announced by the Chief Minister on June 14, 2023.

Background on water bill situation

Delhi's Chief Minister unveiled the 'One Time Settlement Scheme' to address pending water bills, highlighting the financial strain faced by approximately 11.7 lakh consumers with outstanding dues totalling Rs 5,737 crore. The initiative, effective from August 1, offers a complete waiver of pending water bills for 7 lakh consumers.

Reasons behind escalated bills

During a press conference, CM Kejriwal cited various factors contributing to the accumulation of unpaid bills, including challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, incorrect meter readings, and discrepancies in billing processes.

Details of the settlement scheme

The settlement scheme categorises bills based on meter readings, distinguishing between those with multiple 'okay readings' and those with fewer or none. Kejriwal expressed confidence that the scheme will significantly benefit consumers burdened by outstanding dues.

Implementation and timeline

The settlement scheme, approved by the Delhi Jal Board, is expected to be implemented after necessary approvals and formalities are completed. The new billing system, effective from August 1, will provide consumers with a three-month window to settle their bills.

Future policy considerations

Addressing concerns regarding incorrect meter readings and billing discrepancies, Kejriwal assured that the government is working on policies to rectify these issues and will provide further details in due course.

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