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A new rule implemented by the state government is ready to give a big shock to the rural people. On the other hand, the news might give relief to Bengalurians from the high water costs.
Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department with approval by the state government decided to increase the price of drinking water which is supplied from an RO (reverse osmosis) plant. For the first two years, the price of RO water will be fixed to 25 paise/litre while for the third and fourth year, it will be increased to 30 paise/litre. Going forward, the price of the water will be raised to 35 paise/litre. This says that within 5 years, rural people will have to pay around Rs 300 for 900 litres of water, which is three times more than the present price of 10 paise/litre.
As we know, there were several RO plants set up in many villages to supply them with pure drinking water. With the increase of RO water rate per litre, rural people might face difficulties in the coming year.
The conservative estimate shows that for a family of five, the daily drinking water requirement is around 30 litres. With the arrival of new rates, the amount spent just on the drinking water will be 225-250 per month, much more than the current amount.
On the other hand, Bengalureans will be on the profitable side of this new rule. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board officer said to media that for the family of five in Bengaluru, not only the drinking water needs but all kinds of water needs will be fulfilled by paying around Rs 300 for 18000 litres of water.
As per the proposal, around 16,528 RO plants have been set up by the RDPR department across the state while 2054 plants set up is in progress. Out of the set up plants, only 8640 are monitored regularly and the department is working to spend around 223.74 Crores for the maintenance and operation of all the plants for the next 5 years.
The latest prices will help in the upkeep of the RO plants. "All these days, the focus was limited at setting up the RO plant. Many plants became defunct due to lack of maintenance and improper operation. Now, we have remodelled the process to ensure that people get quality water while the plants themselves see regular maintenance", said Vishal R, Commissioner for Rural Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation.
The government order for this new rule came in March but started in July and soon is going to be implemented in all the RO plants.