New Delhi: Opposition BJP on Tuesday criticised Delhi Jal Board`s move to retrospectively levy surcharge on water bills of group housing societies and demanded audit of Board`s accounts by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Terming DJB`s decision to levy surcharge on 5,000 group housing societies as "unjust and unfair", Delhi BJP spokesperson Aman Sinha said highly inflated bills ranging from Rs three lakh to Rs 15 lakh as surcharge levied retrospectively from the year 2004 have been sent to housing societies across the metropolis.
"This move is bound to affect lakhs of families living in group housing societies. These bills have been raised without any basis or criteria and is levied in addition to regular water bills. Even by conservative estimates, DJB would be collecting Rs 250 crores from ordinary members of housing societies without extending any additional service," he said.
"BJP demands a special audit by CAG into accounts of DJB," Sinha said.
He said despite repeated request by the residents welfare associations to extend the notified last date for making payment of surcharge as July 31, the government didn`t extend it.
Recently, a delegation of Confederation of group housing societies of East Delhi led by its president Ramesh Verma met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who told them "point blank" to pay the surcharge or else their water connection would be disconnected, Sinha alleged.
Delhi BJP said DJB now wants ordinary members to pay surcharge on the basis of per dwelling units, although they have no individual water meter connection.
As per DJB`s circular dated January 29, 2005, group housing societies were not included in the list of premises on which "fixed access charges" were to be levied.
"However, in a DJB Board meeting held on March 30, 2005, chaired by Chief Minister, it was decided to issue another Circular which was notified on April 7, 2005 in which group housing societies were deliberately included as it is far easier to coerce societies and compel them to pay such charges howsoever unfair," Sinha alleged.