Deputy interior minister criticizes tap water fee hike plan amid rising energy prices
Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak spoke out against the Metropolitan Waterworks Administration’s (MWA) and Provincial Waterworks Administration’s (PWA) plan to hike tap water fees yesterday.
Naris was responding to media reports suggesting both agencies intend to raise bills to counterbalance the higher expenses brought about by rising energy prices.
The Deputy Interior Minister emphasised that neither the MWA nor the PWA has submitted a proposal to the cabinet requesting an increase in bills. They are not expected to do so, as such a move would add to the financial strain on households already grappling with the high cost of living.
Manit Panaim, MWA governor, explained yesterday for why the agency responsible for supplying tap water services to 12 million users in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan, has to consider raising water fees that have remained capped for the past 23 years.
Manit stated that the MWA has endured the burden of raw water costs for tap water production, which currently stands at 1 billion baht. Additionally, energy prices and other expenses have risen in recent years.
He stressed that the new price structures are essential for covering these heightened costs. If the prices remain untouched, the MWA will find itself unable to generate revenue for the state by 2027, he said.
The planned increase in tap water fees has sparked concern among the public, who are already facing high living expenses. The Deputy Interior Minister, however, has reiterated the government’s dedication to ensuring that the public is not subjected to an added burden and that any decision made will be with the best interests of the people in mind.
While the MWA and PWA have acknowledged the need to cover their increased expenditures, finding a solution that doesn’t put the public under further financial strain will require careful consideration and planning. Both agencies will need to assess the propriety of submitting a proposal to raise water fees while taking into account the potential impact on households’ budgets.
The situation highlights the severity of energy costs and their influence on a wide range of industries and services. Addressing the issue of rising water fees requires not only a deep understanding of the current economic circumstances but also a commitment to exploring alternatives and creating sustainable solutions that can safeguard the well-being of households and the nation as a whole.
With the Deputy Interior Minister voicing his concerns, it remains to be seen how the MWA and PWA will respond to the situation and whether they will devise a plan that balances the need for increased revenue with the public’s ability to manage additional expenses.
As energy prices continue to surge, authorities and organisations alike must work together to mitigate the impacts and find long-term solutions that do not disproportionately affect the well-being of citizens.
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