MCI drops water bombshell on citizens

Domestic, commercial charges up by 100, 200 per cent respectively



Staff Report


The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has approved a 100 percent increase in domestic and 200 percent in commercial water charges for capital residents and enterprises.

The MCI has also increased the property tax and conservancy charges by 100 percent in a recent decision.

The approval for an increase in water bills was accorded at the 30th session of the MCI held a day earlier at Pak-China Friendship Centre with Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz in the chair.

The hike in water charges will help the MCI generate an additional income of Rs3 billion annually.

It was learnt that in order to meet its expenses, the cash-starved MCI has also decided to double conservancy charges.

The civic body also approved an increase in the property tax and recommended a hike in the conservancy charges. The new rates were finalised by a committee of the house with participation from both the treasury and opposition benches after a number of meetings. Similarly, the MCI collects Rs84 million under conservancy charges per year but spends over two billion rupees on sanitation.

MCI officials said on an average the citizens were paying Rs320 as water charges after every three months. With the increase, they would be paying Rs640.

In order to improve its receipts, the MCI is also planning to collect entry fee at the three entrances to the capital and a parking fee at recreational places. House committees have been formed to consider the procedure for the restoration of toll plazas at Rawat, Kashmir Highway and IJP Road and the entry fee at recreational places.

Meanwhile, the issue of proposed merger of the emergency and disaster management unit of the MCI and CDA’s building control as proposed by additional director emergency and disaster Ammaduddin Mohammad also came under discussion.

Member SardarMahtab raised the issue that MCI’s additional director wrote a letter proposing the merger of his directorate with CDA’s building control section.

The mayor said the officer did not take him into confidence before writing the letter and for this he had been suspended.

The MCI was formed following the Nov 30 2015 elections but so far it has failed to deliver, mainly because of unavailability of funds. The previous PML-N and the incumbent PTI government not only provided funds to the MCI but also failed to notify its rules and regulations.