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From January 1, 2014, a Delhi household using up to 20 kl of water a month — or 667 litres a day — will pay nothing. That is 33 average-sized (20-litre) bathroom bucketfuls for free.
However, these consumers will have to ensure that they will not exceed the the 20 kl per month limit. That is because as soon as a household’s monthly consumption crosses 20 kl, it pays for the entire volume it has consumed, not just the extra over 20 kl, at a higher tariff.
This is how it will work for a household that consumes, say, 21 kilolitres:
Under existing tariff structure, a consumer in the 20-30 kl slab pays Rs 181.50 (service charge) + Rs 381.15 (volumetric charge) + Rs 228.69 (sewerage maintenance) = Rs 791.34
With rates in the 20-30 kl and over 30 kl slabs have been increased by 10 per cent. As a result, a consumer of 21 kl will pay Rs 870.47, or Rs 79.13 more.
Only 17 lakh of the 33.41 lakh households (as per 2011 census) in Delhi who have functional domestic water meters will benefit for the free water dole. Rs 160 crore will be the annual cost of providing free water to these households.