Tuesday March 18, 2008

Selangor folks welcome reduced water charges

THE move not to charge households in Selangor for the first 20 cubic metres of water from April onwards has been lauded by the public.  

The announcement from Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on Sunday which appeared in a Malay daily would see domestic users saving up to RM11.40 a month.  

To be reviewed: Khalid says the contract between the state government, Puncak Niaga and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor will be reviewed.
Khalid said the contract between the state government, Puncak Niaga and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) would be reviewed. 

The no-charge for the first 20 cubic metres was part of the PKR's manifesto for the recent general election.  

Klang Consumers Association chairman Devadass Anjan said the no-charge for the first 20 cubic metres of water for households was a great move and would be appreciated by the people in Selangor. 

He said 20 cubic metres of water is usually sufficient for a family of three members. 

“This is good news for single mothers, hardcore poor and those who do not earn enough to cope with the rising inflation rate,'' said Devadass.  

Suhaidah Pono, a mother of five children from Damansara Damai, welcomes the move. However, she said she would want to find out how it actually will affect her water bill. 

“I am staying in an apartment and currently the bill is issued by the management company. Our rate is different than terrace houses or landed property. 

Suhaidah said her monthly water bill comes to about RM80 per month as she also takes care of two other children. 

Good move: Suhaidah feeding her three year old daughter Nadiya Safiqa Hamzah.
Bandar Puteri Klang Residents Association chairman Abdul Rashid Kadir said the incentive should be provided only for those in need. 

“It will definitely make a great difference for those from the lower income group but I don’t agree that the same privilege should be given to the middle to upper income groups,” he said. 

Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Cheras, resident Mona Fairuz Nordin, 40, whose monthly water bill averages between RM120 and RM150 welcomed the move and said that through the savings percentage was small, it would add up over the years.  

“There are four adults and five children in my family and we do the laundry twice a day. I will use the RM11 savings to purchase diapers for my youngest daughter who is two,” she said.  

Pensioner Lai Ah Chee from Kajang said with the waiver, she no longer had to pay her monthly water bill because it was below RM10 as she lived alone.  

For Ahmad Hamed Shahrudin from Padang Jawa, Shah Alam, the move by the new state government will help reduce his water bill. 

Ahmad Hamed, a retiree who is currently staying with his wife and three children said although small, the amount would reduce his RM50 monthly water bill. 

“I definitely can use the money for something else although it is not much especially for us who are staying in a traditional village like this. 

“But like most of my neighbours, we are still waiting for the information as how they are going to implement it as the rates differ from one type of residential and usage. 

“Besides they are yet to discuss it with all parties involved,” he said. 

Mohd Ruslan Harun, who is staying in a terrace house in TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam only hoped that the move by the state government would not be abused by the residents. 

“I hope people would not take it for granted and would increase their usage since they know that the first 20 cubic meter is provided for them for free. 

“This would only lead to wastage and will not go with the global call for water conservation,” said the father of two. 

When contacted, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) corporate communications and public affairs division general manager Abdul Halem Mat Som declined to comment.  

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