The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has officially informed Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana about the water bill arrears of high-ranking officials (VIPs).
NWSDB Assistant General Manager Piyal Pathmanatha told the media that a letter requesting a discussion on the matter was sent to the Speaker a few days ago and that the Board is now waiting for a response. Following the discussion with the Speaker, the Board hopes to obtain the arrears from the VIPs, according to a discussion with the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration.
“Rs. 13 million must come from VIPs, and Rs. 5,200 million must come from 2.6 million domestic users,” Pathmanatha said.
He also stated that the Board is currently facing a shortage of water meters and pipes due to the US Dollar crisis, but that it expects to provide 150,000 connections this year.
We would be able to recover from this situation, and we hope to increase the number of connections provided each year. Most customers keep their bills for at least two months before paying them all at once, which adds interest to their account. As a result, we urge them to pay the bill within 14 days in order to qualify for a discount.”
As of April 2022, the NWSDB owed nearly Rs. 7,500 million to a large number of consumers, including households, commercial enterprises, government agencies, and schools.
Pathmanatha stated that the main reason for the outstanding bills was the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the NWSDB has already begun disconnecting connections with such arrears.
The NWSDB also expects to raise its rates in the future, with Pathmanatha noting that the request was made in 2016 and reported to be approved in August 2022.