Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Bekasi to hike water prices 30%

BEKASI (JP): The local water company, PDAM Bekasi, has announced it will increase the price of water at an average of 30 percent starting this month.

The company's director, Dudung T. Rukandi, said yesterday that the price hike is unavoidable due to sharp increases in the company's operational costs.

"The decision was approved by Bekasi Regent in November 1993 and subsequently by the (West Java) governor in January," Dudung said. Under a new progressive tariff system consumers will have to pay more, depending on the amount of water they use.

Under the new pricing policy consumers are charged Rp 400 (18 U.S. cents) per cubic meter for the usage of up to 10 cubic meters, Rp 800 per cubic meter for between 10 and 20 cubic meters, Rp 1,200 for quantities ranging from 21 to 30 cubic meters and Rp 1,600 per cubic meter for over 30 cubic meters.

The new rates will be payable in September.

"Under the new system, the more water the consumers use the higher their rates will be," he said.

Previously, the price of water set by PDAM Bekasi was only Rp 300 per cubic meter for households, regardless of the amount the consumers used.

With a local population of over 2 million, PDAM Bekasi is now operating a water treatment plant with a capacity of 500 liters per second.

"We have 35,000 connection lines but only 18,451 are in use at present," said Dudung, adding that the company plans to market another 15,000 water connection lines in the near future.

In order to improve its public service, Dudung called on housing developers in the regency east of Jakarta to build roads with environmentally friendly curbing so as to also simplify the installation of water pipes.

"The idea is beneficial to us and the developers because it will not only make water pipe installation cheaper due to not having to dig up asphalted roads, but will also lure more people to buy their houses," he said. (03/12)