Unruffled over water surcharge

Posted on September 28, 2010. Filed under: Water resource |

-The Star- GEORGE TOWN: No big deal. That was the reaction of several people interviewed to the proposed 24-sen surcharge which the Penang Government will impose for every 1,000 litres of water used by domestic consumers exceeding 35,000 litres a month from Nov 1.

Char koay teow seller Ng Kim Seng, 57, who shares his double-storey wooden house in Weld Quay here with the families of his sister and daughter, said the surcharge was not a concern to him.

He said the water bill of their home, which has nine occupants in total, averaged between RM80 and RM110 for two months.

“I pay the water bill without collecting from the rest as the amount is not a big deal,” said the head the household.

Food seller Teoh Yean Ling, 29, also did not find the surcharge worrying.

She said the water bill for her home in Paya Terubong which she shares with her brother-in-law’s family varied between RM90 and RM130 for two months.

“We divide the bill equally,” she said.

Penang Water Supply Corporation Sdn Bhd corporate affairs manager K. Jeyabalan said the surcharge was aimed at raising awareness among consumers to use water wisely.

“Penang’s water tariff is already among the cheapest in Malaysia. Even with the surcharge, it is still lower than many states,” he said.

He said some consumers may feel that it was all right to use water according to their wish since they were paying for it.

“We hope to change their mindset. Water may be cheap and abundant but it doesn’t mean we should waste it,” said Jeyabalan.

He said the poor and needy had been taken into consideration when the surcharge was proposed, hence the 35,000-litre threshold.

The water bills for domestic users in Penang are currently issued once every two months.

The monthly rate is 22 sen per 1,000 litres for the first 20,000 litres followed by 42 sen per 1,000 litres for the subsequent 20,000 litres, 52 sen per 1,000 litres for the next 20,000 litres and 90 sen for every 1,000 litres after that until 200,000 litres.

Those who use more than 200,000 litres a month are charged RM1 per 1,000 litres for any consumption above the figure.

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