Mandalay to ‘Revise’ Water Rates

Metered water rates in Mandalay will be revised as the City Development Committee (MCDC) is losing more than K3700 million in revenue a year, according to officials.

The total cost for the 2016-17 budget year, including factory maintenance, salaries, electricity charges and general expenditure was K5236 million and payments from water meters amounted to K1500 million.

This represents a loss of K3700 million, said Daw Khin May Htay, head of MCDC Water and Sanitation Department.

Speaking at a meeting held yesterday at MCDC meeting hall on Tuesday, she said, “We have to pay K3226 million for electricity charges.”

MCDC Revenue Department head U Win Maung, said, “There are over 90,000 water meters in Mandalay but there is wastage due to pipe leaks.

“MCDC has to rely on its own budget but there are losses. When a water supply system upgrade is being considered, we also have to look at revenue.

“We cannot do any upgrading without money. Initial work is being conducted. We would like to say that water rates are being revised rather than being increased,” U Win Maung said.

In this year’s budget, which began on April 1, the rates were increased from K85 to K200 per unit (220 gallons) for households and from K110 to K260 per unit for businesses.

Likewise, the rate for locally-owned factories has been raised from K440 to K660 per unit and the rate for foreign-owned factories has been changed from K880 to K1100 per unit.

The bill rates for moat water are fixed according to pipe sizes.

The current rate of K1500 has been increased to K4000 for the smallest 0.5-inch pipe and the rate for the biggest 8-inch pipe is up from K50,000 to K70,000.

Mandalay Mayor Dr Ye Lwin said, “The rate of 85 kyats per unit is so low, you can never find this in any other country. The minimum is K350. It is K500 in Magway. Private firms cannot charge the same rates as the government. If the rates cannot be increased, there will be no urban development,” said.

U Aung Kyaw said that pipe leakage is 50 percent of the problem and staff strength should be increased to make repairs because people have been drinking water that is not very clean for a long time.

U Thet Min Tun, ward administrator from West Yadanar Bumi, Maha Aung Myay, said that people want pure and good water when paying K200 per unit.

The people are also responsible for urban development.

However, U Thet Min Tun said he has seen the negotiations being carried out between the meter-reading staff and consumers to cheat and reduce the charges.

This, he said, can lead to an increase in water rates but will be of no avail because the cheating will eat into profits.

Revenue department head U Win Maung said, “For water to be clean is our responsibility, and to pay the appropriate charges is the consumer’s responsibility. We will do things properly. If anyone of our staff is found cheating, please report it to our department.”

Part of the current urban development projects by MCDC to provide good water drainage and waste water treatment for factories is being undertaken with a US$ 60 million ADB loan, among other projects.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

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