ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was on Thursday informed that Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) is charging higher than normal commercial tariff from community-based tubewells in the capital.
However, Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan assured the house that the tariff would be revised by April to give relief to the residents.
In response to a calling attention notice moved by MNA Ali Nawaz Awan, the minister confirmed that A3 tariff was being charged on tubewells.
A3 tariff (general service) is even higher than the normal commercial tariff, said the calling attention notice.
“Today, I discussed the issue raised by MNAs Ali Nawaz and Raja Khurram Nawaz and also got it checked telephonically [from concerned department] and it’s true the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had introduced A3 tariff for tubewells,” the minister said.
He said his ministry had already taken up the issue with Nepra, the regulator, and informed it that tubewells were in the high tariff slab. “We are going to revise it downward by March-April,” he told the house.
Earlier, the mover of the calling attention notice told the house that the total requirement of water in Islamabad was 256 million gallons per day (mgd) while Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) was supplying just 56mgd.
He said out of the 56mgd, 34mgd was being supplied from Simly Dam, seven from Khanpur Dam and the rest arranged through tubewells.
MCI is supplying water only in urban areas while rural areas of Islamabad depend on tubewells.
There are also small water supply schemes introduced by the local government department of the capital territory administration.
The mover said because of high tariff people were unable to pay the power bills leading to the closure of the water schemes.
He said tubewells in rural areas were not owned by MCI and CDA rather communities were operating them.
“It’s a big issue. Agricultural tariff, which is subsidized, should be applicable on these tubewells,” he maintained. Later, the mover of the calling attention notice told Dawn that because of the high-tariff a number of tubewells were lying dysfunctional.
“Somewhere there is a default of Rs2 million and somewhere it is Rs4 million.” He said if a new tariff was introduced, the residents of Islamabad solely depending on tubewells for water would get a big relief.
“Tubewells operated for community-based water supply schemes are not selling water commercially and they may be charged DI tariff for electricity,” said the notice.