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Punjab order on water, sewerage charges stayed

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Mar 1 (UNI) The Punjab and Haryana High Court today restrained the Punjab government and the municipal council, Kharar, now forming part of the newly created district of Mohali, from realising enhanced water supply and sewerage charges from the residents of the town.

The order was passed by the court's division bench of Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice Ajai Kumar Mittal on a writ petition that challenged the notification vide which the Punjab government had asked all the Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats to increase user charges for water supply and sewerage.

The bench has admitted the petition for final hearing.

The petitioners pointed out that the new water supply and sewerage charges sought to be implemented with immediate effect, were rejected by the Municipal Council, Kharar through a unanimous resolution but the resolution was suspended by the state government and the municipal council imposed the enhanced rates. The bills for the year 2005 were sent to consumers on newly prescribed rates by the state authorities, it was further submitted.

It has been alleged by the petitioners that provision of water and sewerage facilities to the general public is included in the essential services to be provided by the municipal council. The state government did not have powers to impose revised rates.

It was further contended that the work of the Municipal Council Kharar had been going on properly on the old rates applicable to water supply and sewerage and as such the state government action was illegal.

The enhanced charges are an uncalled for burden on the residents of the town, the petitioners argued.

UNI XC PS VN VJ BD2103

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