Hyderabad: Progress and clarifications to ongoing questions in 20 kL free drinking water scheme
The Government has announced 20 KL per month free water scheme vide MA & UD Dept G.O Ms No: 211 Dt.02.12.2020 as per which the domestic consumers within the GHMC jurisdiction will be eligible for 20KL free water per month provided the consumers have a working meter to their connections and link their Aadhaar numbers to the Consumer Account Numbers(CANs) of HMWSSB; the scheme has commenced from December 2020 but a window period from December-2020 to April-2021 was allowed to facilitate the meter fixing and Aadhaar linking to become eligible for the 20,000 Liters free water; however the Domestic-Slum consumers were exempt from fixing of meters.
As on 14-06-2021 total 4,06,508 connections are eligible for 20 KL Free Water Supply Scheme which is around 41 % of total 9,73,977 connections. Thereby, benefitting around 8,24,000 households. This progress was made possible due to several efforts made by HMWSSB and interest shown by the people, as explained below:
Initiatives taken up by HMWSSB to encourage registration for the Free Water Supply Scheme:
The Government has issued guidelines for empanelment of metering agencies towards easing the process of meter fixing; accordingly the Board has empanelled agencies for meter fixing in 14 O&M Divisions and has published the details on the Board website, along with the meter specifications. The consumers were allowed to either get the meters fixed through the empanelled agencies or could procure the meters conforming to the specifications, duly informing the field level officers of the meter fixing particulars or update through online portal so as to record the meter details in the database.
The consumers pertaining to Domestic-Individual, Domestic-Multi Storeyed Apartment complexes, Colonies/Bulk-Domestic have been duly facilitated to link Aadhaar through a mobile application capturing bio-metric through finger print scanners OR through online portal www.hyderabadwater.gov.in OR through Mee-Seva centers as well. HMWSSB personnel have taken up door to door visits for linkage of CAN and Adhaar using Finger print scanners to Domestic Slum Connections. However, due to increase in COVID-19 cases and subsequent restrictions, door-door visits have been stopped and online seeding of Aadhaar numbers is encouraged.
The Board has set up Customer Relationship Management (CRM cell) at Head Office on 155313 with 30 lines (both inbound and out-bound seats); Made available HMWSSB Whatsapp Chatbot on 9154170968 to address customer queries and to educate customers about the scheme. Corrections in the Names and Telephone number of connections were also allowed on HMWSSB website. Consumers have been communicated about the scheme through SMS, social media, Telephonic updates, FM radio, posters/hoardings in prominent places.
In this regard, HMWSSB seeks to clarify through this press note few concerns and doubts frequently raised through print and social media by general public to resolve their doubts and encourage them to register for Free Water Scheme –
- Several requests have come from people living in Municipalities & Corporations neighboring GHMC for applicability of 20 KL Free Water Supply Scheme. We inform in this regard that, at this point Government has extended the scheme only upto GHMC and thus, scheme is not extended to surrounding municipalities/corporations.
- In certain cases few raised a concern that though they linked Aadhaar and have a meter, bill has been issued without rebate. It is clarified that in several instances it is observed that meter is available but not functioning and hence benefit is not extended. Thus, citizens are requested to check functioning of meters.
- In case of Multi Storeyed Apartment Complexes/Domestic Colonies, unless Aadhaar for all the units are linked, full rebate is not extended. It is hereby clarified that in such cases rebate is extended only to the extent of no. of flats/units linked their Aadhaar against the CAN of Multi Storeyed Apartment Complex/Colony. Thus, we encourage all flats/units to register for the scheme and link Aadhaar for availing full benefit of the scheme.
- Government has taken steps to provide time from 01-12-2020 to 30-04-2021 to facilitate consumers to fix meters and Link Aadhaar to their CANs. Thus, bills were issued at once from May 2021 to all connections, duly applying rebate to eligible connections, with average meter reading per month, without levying any penalties or interest.
- It is clarified that, the connections which linked their Aadhaar and fixed functioning meters on or before 30-04-2021, rebate is extended from the month of Dec’2020 to Apr’ 2021 and they continue to be eligible for free water. To the connections which register on or after 01-05-2021, 5 months bill is given (i.e. from 01-12-2020 to 30-04-2021) and from 01-05-2021 onwards they will get monthly bill.
- Further, it is clarified that scheme is in force even after 30-04-2021 and consumers can still register for the scheme by linking Aadhaar and fixing functional meters, however, rebate will be extended to such connections prospectively after linking Aadhaar and fixing functional meters.
- It is clarified that only one CAN can be registered for rebate for one Aadhaar number.
- The consumers who have not submitted Occupancy certificate are not eligible for the scheme.
- HMWSSB has released a mobile application “HMWSSB 20KL Free Water Registration”, available on play store, using which consumers can register for free water supply by linking their Aadhaar Numbers to their CAN. Details of compatible finger print scanners are available in the mobile application.
Consumers can contact 155313 customer care for further clarifications on scheme applicability.