Panaji, Oct 2 (IANS): Reacting to the 5 per cent increase in water tariff from October 1, Goa Forward Party (GFP) President and MLA Vijai Sardesai on Sunday questioned whether it is done to recover money spent to purchase eight MLAs of Congress.
"Before the 2022 assembly election, BJP and (Chief Minister) Pramod Sawant had promised people of giving 16,000 litre water free. Even they mentioned it in their manifesto. People voted for them after reading it. After six months, the same government has taken 'U-turn' on its promise and has increased the tariff," Fatorda MLA Sardesai said.
"This proves how this government has betrayed people. It wants to deprive people of water or is it that BJP wants to punish those people who didn't vote for them, this is what people are wondering now," Sardesai said.
"Increase in water tariff has taken place, after purchasing eight MLAs of opposition. This means he is trying to recover this money from poor people," Sardesai said, adding people are wondering in this angle.
"I urge people to wake up and know how BJP is cheating them. When time will come in future, act accordingly," Sardesai further said.
However, speaking to IANS, PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral said that tariff hike is as per scheme. "People are still getting 16,000 litre water free, consumption above that is charged," Cabral clarified.
"This scheme was for a specific purpose. Government is spending Rs 45 per unit for the cost of pumping, treatment and supply. But the government is charging Rs 2, 3 and 4 per unit as per slabs respectively," he said.
"How much it (5 per cent) will add on Rs 2," Cabral said, suggesting it is doit.
"Consumption of water (every day) as per international standard is 190 litre for a person. Potable water is for cooking and to have a bath. It should not be used for watering plants and washing cars. It is the duty of the government to provide water and it is also the duty of people to conserve water," he said.
"Those who have big houses and gardens, they afford to pay (5 per cent increase), what is the problem to him (Vijai Sardesai). He has got a big garden, hence he may be finding it difficult," Cabral said.
He said every year, 5 per cent will be increased on the water tariff on all slabs.