RAWALPINDI: The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) kicked off a drive to recover dues which amount to Rs32 million from defaulters and illegal connection holders as it served final notices to commercial and residential consumers to pay the pending amount as soon as possible.

A senior Wasa official told Dawn that from July to January, it recovered Rs83 million per month from consumers. He said in the current fiscal year, the recovery rate was better than in previous years as the agency managed to achieve an 80pc target compared to 65pc during the previous financial year.

The final notices to consumers were issued over non-payment of dues during the past two years, the official said, adding that Wasa had also disconnected some connections in the city to recover the outstanding amount that forced the defaulters to pay the water bills pending for several years.

Agency warns connections will be removed over non-payment of dues

“We detected 1,412 illegal water connections in the garrison city and decided to take immediate action against the culprits,” he said. According to the official, the water charges in the garrison city were Rs100 per month for a five-marla house which is lower compared to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment boards which charged a minimum of Rs400 per month for the small houses.

He said the agency did not get direct funding from the government and had to run the administrative and maintenance expenditures from the water bills. The official said domestic consumers were given a warning while the commercial users had their connections severed.

Meanwhile, Wasa Managing Director Mohammad Tanveer took serious notice of illegal water connections and asked the recovery branch to collect dues as soon as possible and speed up the drive to recover the dues from defaulters.

According to officials, Wasa has “adopted a modern approach to recover” pending bills from consumers while also using incentives.

“The illegal water connections would be regularised if they pay the remaining dues and surcharge,” the Wasa managing director said, adding that those who failed to make payments – despite instalments – would be left without water connections.

He said the officials who performed better would be encouraged whereas action would be taken against the ones who proved negligent. He said the crackdown would continue till every penny is recovered. He clarified that the sanitation agency was not willing to disconnect water connections, but the purpose of this drive is to recover the outstanding amount from defaulters.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

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