Residents of Vengaivasal, a southern suburb, have sought clarity on the village panchayat asking for contribution towards the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). They said the panchayat was not issuing receipts for the contributions made towards the scheme.
Jai Ganesh, a resident of Vengaivasal, said the new assessees were asked to pay ₹5,000 as contribution towards Jal Jeevan Mission. “I was given an account number for the JJM community contribution to be printed on a piece of paper to remit the amount. I was told I could pay property tax after paying this amount,” he said.
Residents said receipts were not given for the amount paid towards such JJM contribution. They raised concerns about accountability and suggested that payment could be made through a government website.
Water tax doubled
S. Kumar, another resident, alleged that many consumers paid up to ₹10,000 for the household tap connection. Water tax paid annually has almost doubled in the past one year.
However, Vengaivasal village panchayat authorities said the amount was sought as community contribution towards 10% of the capital cost as per JJM guidelines. This was to create a sense of ownership among residents about operation and maintenance of piped water supply infrastructure.
Jai Chandran, village panchayat president, said residents were not forced to pay a specific amount. Nearly 90% of the project cost of ₹2.6 crore was met by the Union and State governments. Most of the 8,000-odd households in the panchayat had been provided with connections. Receipts were being given to consumers and they may clarify doubts with the panchayat office and during gram sabha meetings.
Officials of the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board said JJM was implemented by the individual village panchayats if they have their own source. They would execute the work through the Rural Development Department.