Mangaluru: With the Mangaluru City Corporation planning to cut off water connection of the water bill defaulters from Monday, December 7, taps of some of the big establishments, both public as well as private are going to turn dry.
Around 1,200 business firms are due to pay their water bills from a cumulative of six years, which sums to whopping Rs 7.77 crore.
Surprisingly, the defaulters’ list has some of the big establishments featuring in it, including two leading hospitals.
With Meenugarika Bandaru Yojane ruling the roost with an outstanding amount of Rs 5.32 lakh from the past 3 years, two leading hospitals in the city, one of which was alleged of having illegal water connection in 2006 are due to pay about Rs 2 lakh each.
The Panambur Coast Guards (Rs 5.18 lakh due over one and half years), the Southern Railways Mangaluru (due to pay Rs 4.76 lakh over 2 years), APMC (Rs 2 lakh), Karnataka Milk Federation (Rs 2 lakh) are among others who will face the brunt.
Apart from this, what seems to be a herculean task for the MCC is the mission to collect Rs 60 lakh outstanding water bill from over 150 factories and manufacturing units functioning in Baikampady Industrial area alone.
One may only have to wait and watch as to how the MCC will accomplish this task, with the given fact that many of these units have either stopped operations or moved out of the industrial area, after hoodwinking the MCC by furnishing fake documents.
Further, what has left the MCC puzzled is the case of proxy connections. There are many establishments in the city which have taken connections by furnishing the name of influential people and now feature in the defaulters’ list as well.
With the MCC sharpening its knives to act stern on defaulters, MCC Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Raju Mogaveera, speaking to NewsKarnataka.com said that a minimum of two dozen connections will be cut on December 7 and the crackdown will continue in phases.
With business, non-domestic and commercial firms being their target in the first phase, the MCC will move on to track down the domestic users who have defaulted the water bills, in the second phase, which the MCC intends to begin next month. Mogaveera said that even the defaulters claiming that they were slammed exorbitant bills would be first made to clear the bills and then raise an objection.
“In case their claim stands true, the money charged in excess will be solicited in the future bills,” he said.
Mayor under pressure?
While the MCC officials are all ready to crack the whip, MCC Mayor Jacintha Vijay Alfred insisted that all is well and that there were no defaulters barring some individual households in remote areas of the Corporation.
A senior official, on behalf of the Mayor even stated that there was no single business giant or firm that owned money to the MCC over the last two months.