New sewerage tariffs will be ‘minimal’

The existing tariff has not been revised since 1994 and it can no longer cover IWK’s rising operating costs

pic by TMR FILE

THE Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA) has proposed to increase sewerage rates that will be “minimal” and would not affect low-cost housing and villagers Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the ministry reviewed proposals and will introduce increases that are gradual and do not affect the lower-income group.

He said the government saw a necessity to increase tariffs following rising costs for national sewerage operator Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK).

“At the moment, IWK has to face the increase in operating and maintenance costs of sewage treatment plants and the network of public sewerage systems,” Tuan Ibrahim said in a response to Dewan Negara senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili.

The minister said the existing sewerage tariff has not been revised since 1994 and it can no longer cover the rising operating costs of the IWK.

“For example, the actual operating cost for each domestic premise connected to a public sewage treatment plant is RM17 per month compared to the existing tariff of RM8 per month,” he noted.

He said this rate does not cover the cost of building new plants and sewerage pipeline networks.

On Dec 2, Tuan Ibrahim told Dewan Rakyat that IWK will receive financial assistance to cover its operating costs which cannot be covered through tariff collection.

However, he said that financial assistance is expected to be reduced in stages after IWK implemented programmes to search for fundings to cover its projects.

Meanwhile, KASA will introduce instalment payments for customers with desludging of septic tanks services.

“This will allow customers to manage cashflow and ease their current financial burden,” he stated.

In addition, the introduction of rebates for both services will also be given attention to ease the financial burden for the target groups who are in need.

“Following the proposed tariff adjustment, a public consultation session was conducted by Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara from Nov 9 to 23, to obtain feedback from consumers.

“More than 80% of the 2,350 respondents who participated agreed with the proposed tariff adjustment proposal,” he said.

He assured that the feedback should be taken into account to ensure that the proposed increase does not burden the people, while at the same time helping to ensure that the environment remains clean and secure.