Sudden water tariff hike unjust – Vithanage

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Increasing the water tariff without improving water quality and accessibility is unjust, President of the Consumer Rights Protection Organisation, Ranjith Vithanage said.

He claimed that, despite raising the water tariff to reduce losses, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) is losing money due to inefficient workers, not ordinary citizens.

He said the water tariff was raised without notice a month ago in response to the increase in the electricity tariff, and that ordinary people are now unable to take a shower. He also queried how a price increase could be implemented without addressing the drawbacks of the services.

“It is a miracle that people are surviving in the face of all these price increases,” he said.

A special gazette notification was issued by Water Supply Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, increasing the water tariffs with effect from 1 September 2022. The tariff revision was made in terms of Section 84 of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board Law No. 2 of 1974. Accordingly, the tariffs have been revised for all consumers supplied with water from the water supply schemes of the NWSDB. The monthly water bill of any premises includes, in addition to the water charges, monthly service charges, other charges, and applicable taxes, the gazette notification read further. The water bill generally displays only the total monthly charge and if necessary, the consumer can request the water bill with separate VAT/SVAT invoices following prior registration with the NWSDB.

By Thameenah Razeek