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Water bills to rise in Rangoon

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Water in Rangoon, already in short supply in some areas, is going to cost more starting April 1. The Rangoon City Development Committee announced on Thursday that water bills would increase from 25 to 40 pya per gallon for non-commercial use.
The United Nations has dedicated March 22 this year as "World Water Day" with the theme, “Clean Water for a Healthy World.” It highlights the importance of water quality alongside quantity of the resource in water management. The national average figure acknowledged by the government says that 25 per cent of Burmese people are without access to safe drinking water. Photo: MizzimaSoe Myaing, the head of the committee’s Engineering Department, explain the increase: “The cost of one gallon of water is 47 pya [a unit of Burmese money worth 0.01 kyat]. But we collect just 25 pya per one gallon for non-commercial use and 35 pya per one gallon for commercial use, so we’ve suffered financial losses.”

Until July 2005, the development committee collected 3 pya per gallon and from August 2005 to March 2012; 25 pya per one gallon for non-commercial use and government offices; and 35 pya for commercial use.

Starting from April 1, it will collect 40 pya per a gallon for non-commercial use and 50 pya for commercial use.

For government offices, the existing rate, 25 pya, will remain the same, Soe Myiang said.
“In Rangoon, if the amount is calculated according to water units, we [presently] collect 55 kyat (US$ 0.14) per unit [220 gallons] for non-commercial use and 77 kyat per unit for commercial use.
The water rate of neighbouring countries are : US$ 0.26 [208 kyat] per  unit in Thailand; US$ 0.96 [768 kyat] in Singapore; US$ 0.36 [288 kyat] in Philippines; US$ 0.45 [360 kyat] in Malaysia; US$ 0.14 [112 kyat] in Cambodia; US$ 0.09 [72 kyat] in Laos; US$ 0.7 [560 kyat] in Indonesia; US$ 0.1 [80 kyat] in China; US$ 0.1 [80 kyat] in India; US$ 0.8 [640 kyat] in Bingladesh; and US$ 0.069 [55 kyat] in Burma.
Soe Myiang also said all customers must install a water meter.
“Some people have installed water meters in Rangoon but for some customers who have not installed water meters, we have to collect the charges with a fix rate. In that case, we assume that a person will use 30 gallon of water a day and a house has five family members and then we calculate the amount of money using that formula. So, there is waste of water. We cannot get money in line with the usage of water,” he said.
From a total of about 230,000 water users, more than 70,000 customers have not installed water meters in the Rangoon municipal area, according officials.
According to government date, Rangoon distributes 160 million gallons of water daily from Gyophyu Reservoir, Hlawgar Reservoir, Phoogyi Reservoir and Ngamoeyeik Reservoir.
On November 2, 2011, the Rangoon Region Assembly rejected a motion, put forward by U Kyaw of the Thingangyun Township constituency, to distribute more water to the city.
In the discussion, Kyaw said that the drinking water distributed by the Rangoon City Development Committee to the outskirts of Rangoon was insufficient, and he urged the City Development Committee to distribute more water.
“Most of the people in our township are poor. To get water, they have to wait until late at night, so they cannot sleep. Because of insufficient water there are health problems,” Kyaw told the Rangoon Region assembly.

In response to Kyaw’s motion, the Rangoon mayor said there were plans to distribute more water.
Last Updated ( Friday, 10 February 2012 19:12 )  
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