BWSSB’s decision to charge higher water charges only from those who live in apartment communities but not from those who live in single family homes makes no sense, nor is it actually executable.
There is a tendency in the agencies to impose higher expectations on those in apartment communities, and even this is done selectively (we are seeing this in SWM also, having to fight against such discrimination).
Moreover, those who think up such things are always careful to exempt communities like LIC quarters and BSNL quarters and KEB quarters, because these are not ‘private’ apartment communities.
I agree that BWSSB needs to raise prices on anything more than lifeline water supply, and those who can pay more should be the ones to bear the cost burden. But why exempt single family homes in layouts? Why include villa communities along with apartment communities, if ‘apartment’ is the deciding factor? Why exempt government apartment communities?
I think the answer is that agencies try to impose these costs on those who they think lack the capacity for political backlash – presumably because ‘such people do not vote.’ Showing up on election day is important, not just to select winners and losers, but also to avoid becoming a targeted group.
There is a perfectly good way to set a new tariff structure for BWSSB, and this should be done by an independent regulatory authority, based on some credible thinking. Without that, this too will land in the courts, and the department heads will simply get a pounding. In the last hearing of the SWM case, the judge had asked the BBMP Commissioner if he knows how to read and write !!