Hyderabad: The electricity department has sent the Water Board a notice to clear its arrears worth Rs 750 crore. The Water Board is going through a financial crunch and has asked the government to rescue it.
A Water Board official said the electricity department had warned of disconnecting power but the board could do nothing about it. It could only wait for the government to clear the bills.
The official said that if power was disconnected, the board would not be able to pump water from the Krishna and the Godavari to the city, or pump water in the city.
According to sources, the Water Board has not been paid by 2,000 defaulters including government wings and public sector undertakings ven after issuing notices and giving several representations.
The HMWS&SB gets monthly power bills in the range of Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore as against its monthly income of Rs 88 crore. In peak summer, when it began using emergency pumps to get water for the city, the bill went up to Rs 85 crore. These bills have piled up to Rs 750 crore. A senior Water Board official said that they have taken the issue to the government. The Board had written to the government to decrease its cost of electricity on par with Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited.
“How can we pay salaries to staff which costs Rs 50 crore, Rs 20 crore a month on debt servicing and Rs 10 crore on operation and maintenance works,” he said. The government is focussing on collecting arrears from its own departments but is advising the Water Board to become self-sustainable.
The official said the Water Board had asked the electricity department to collect the arrears from the government since they would never recover from the financial crisis. He said that if the electricity department pulled the plug on power supply, the consumers would suffer and not the officials. He said power interruptions in a few areas of the city was already affecting water supply.