TS govt departments, agencies owe Rs. 1,267 Cr to HMWSSB, Mission Bhageeratha biggest defaulter: RTI

As per the RTI, the last time a notice reminding the government departments to clear the dues was sent on 17 June 2021.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  21 Jun 2022 12:02 PM GMT
TS govt departments, agencies owe Rs. 1,267 Cr to HMWSSB, Mission Bhageeratha biggest defaulter: RTI

Hyderabad: Mission Bhageeratha, the Telangana government's drinking water project, owes Rs. 601.32 crores to the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board (HMWSSB). This is the highest amount due to HMWSSB by a state government department as per an RTI response filed by Forum for Good Governance.

The Revenue department said Rs. 1,519 crores are due from various state and Central government departments and agencies. Of this, Rs. 1,267 crores are due from the state government departments and Rs. 252 crores from the Central government departments. While the Central government organisations owe Rs 233.69 crores, public sector units owe Rs. 18.15 crores.

The state government agency that owes the highest amount is Mission Bhageeratha that owes HMWSSV Rs. 601.32 crores.

The RTI further mentioned that they regularly pursue the matter by writing letters, but there is no response from the organisations.

The panchayati raj and rural development department owes Rs. 539.63 crores; the health, medical, family, and welfare department owes Rs. 41.70 crores; the municipal administration and urban development department owes Rs. 18.13 crores; the housing department owes Rs. 22.33 crores; the Home department owes Rs. 14.56 crores; and the general administration department owes Rs. 9.40 crores. The transport, roads, and buildings departments owe Rs. 7.11 crores.

As per the RTI, the last time a notice reminding the government departments to clear the dues was sent on 17 June 2021.

The HMWSSB director (Revenue) said, "We issue a bill every month to all government departments. The bill itself acts as a notice. Government departments pay their dues at a time –sometimes once in 3-4 months."

In a letter written to the Telangana chief secretary, the Forum for Good Governance secretary, M. Padmanabha Reddy, pointed out that the water board's main source of revenue is water charges. "Citizens are regularly paying the water charges. The problem is only with government institutions. Due to the financial crunch, the water board is unable to replace old rusting supply lines, and as a result, people are getting contaminated water and becoming sick," he said.

As per section 199 of the GHMC Act, property tax includes water tax, drainage tax, lighting tax, conservancy tax, etc. When a citizen pays property tax (house tax) to GHMC, it implies that he is also paying water and drainage tax. Again, the water board separately collects water and drainage tax which amounts to double payment for water.

"Nevertheless, without grumbling, the residents of Hyderabad are paying the water charges. When it comes to government agencies, large amounts are due for years together, putting the water board into losses. By not paying water charges, the government is setting a wrong example," explained Mr. Reddy.

Next Story
Share it