KARACHI - Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) is considering to increasing the water charges in order to pay-off KESCs long-standing arrears, which are over Rs6 billion. This will happen mainly because the KWSB is being pushed by the Karachi Electric Supply Company to take this step a source privy to KWSB affairs told The Nation on Monday. The Board has not raised the water charges since long and even if it is done, it will be comparatively lower than that of any other utility company charges. It may be mentioned that the KESC is charging the KESC as per commercial-unit rules. The source further mentioned that at most of the places, the company has not installed its meters and hence it is charging the KWSB according to average billing. He said they have a lot of reservations on the KESC billing issues adding, The utility must remove our reservations first and then demand their dues. During the last 4 or 5 years, the City has been facing extensive load-shedding and even with these outages the power bills are hiking day by day. The authorities concerned must check the KESC power to increase tariff regardless of strong of huge public outcry, he added. Talking about the dues owed to KESC, he said that the amount of Rs 800 million was the late surcharge that had been piling up against the actual amount of Rs 6 billion during last 20 years. He also pointed out that KWSB has the receivable amount of Rs 8 billion from different provincial and government institutions as well as private organisation. He said around 6 months ago the Board has taken up the issue with the Federal Government and the Board demanded that all the defaulters might be pushed to pay off their dues to the KWSB. As soon as the Board receives the arrears, it will be able to pay off its dues to KESC, he observed. He complained that KESC have cut electricity supply to our offices. Although they have exempted the Boards pumping stations, yet the disconnection of the Board offices is affecting its efficiency, he noted. He also said that if this matter remained unresolved, the KWSB could bring the issue to the court. When this scribe sought the KESC officials comments in this regard, they said there were no negations going on between the two utilities and moving the court in this regard would be the KWSB choice. The KWSB has not paid us the March bill so far and they have only paid Rs 10 corers in the February bill, they added.