Aam Aadmi Party CM candidate Advocate Amit Palekar on Saturday has alleged that the free water scheme of the BJP government is nothing but a scam. As the free water promise runs out, Palekar chides Pramod Sawant, saying he is an incompetent CM.
AAP filed a RTI request to gain more information on inflated water bills, and the response revealed that many people in the state are receiving a five-fold increase in charges. The consumers who should have received no bills had to pay 200 rupees, and those who should have received 200 rupees bills were given 1000 rupees bills.
While addressing the media Advocate Amit Palekar said, “In our possession are the water bills of Kalapur and St.Inez residents and the RTI response has revealed how incompetent the CM and his PWD department are. There are errors in the units’ readings and the people have been receiving inflated water bills”.
“Bill number 4040186 belongs to a resident from St. Inez whose previous reading was 1 and his current reading is 0 . He has been charged Rs. 442 for 50 units. Another resident of St. Inez with the bill number is 411 0193 his previous reading was 1707 and his current reading is 1753. He has been charged Rs. 2248 for 50 units, while the actual consumed units is 46″.
He further said, “Bill number 1464 0221 belongs to a resident from St. Inez whose previous reading was 1845 and his current reading is 0 and has arrears of Rs. 270. He has been charged Rs. 871 for 68 units. Bill number 1458 0223 belongs to a resident from St. Inez whose previous reading was 2016 and his current reading is 0 and has arrears of Rs. 6181. He has been charged Rs. 6662 for 69 units”.
Palekar claimed that the people should have received zero bills, yet they have been paying water bills for months after CM’s promise. The government is earning four crores per month, which translates into 48 crores per year. The amount is not small; this is a multi-crore scam. This indicates a systematic scam is being perpetrated by the chief minister and his ministers.
He said, “This must be understood by the people of Goa. I urge Goans to vote for AAP that will provide honest governance. We know the formula to provide free water and free electricity. We have already implemented it in Delhi and will do so in Goa if AAP wins”.
Earlier, Palekar had slammed the Pramod Sawant led government for charging interest on water bill arrears and challnged Sawant for debate on inflated water bills.
Palekar said, “Goans are facing high water bills. I invited CM Pramod Sawant to debate with me, but he did not respond. Clearly the BJP government has lost control over the PWD department, and the CM is a weak leader”.
Palekar asserted consumers who heeded the advice of CM Pramod Sawant asking them not to pay their exorbitant water bills issued in December last year as there were technical errors in the computation are now paying a price.
Palekar said, “Many of the bills received this month carry interest on the arrears of the unpaid previous bills, which should otherwise have been zero bills after the government decided to give 16000 litres of water free”.
“This clearly shows that Pramod Sawant is a weak and incompetent CM, who still cannot find out who did the error. When many of the Goans lost their source of income due to Covid, how can the government expect them to pay high water bills? The government should be ashamed for sending interest on arrears”, he added.