As T&T stares down the barrel of what officials describe as one of the country’s “harshest dry seasons”, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has begun the process to update the legislation which governs the body.
It would see the increase of current fines as well as water rates.
These updates acting WASA CEO, Alan Poon King said, on The Morning Brew, would help the body to better perform their duties. Speaking about the fines for wasting water, the CEO lamented that current laws are outdated. “The law we are under… was enacted in 1965. At that time, the grand fine of $75 was applied. Our law has not changed since then. We are now making steps to have those fines increased significantly but that has to go through a process,” he said.
Asked about the chances of having the fine increased before the end of this dry season given the country’s parliamentary process, he said: “We have, as I said, started the process and we are working with our line ministry, the Ministry of Public Utilities towards having it because that is a major part in what we need to do. We are hoping to have it well before the end of the dry season.”
He also revealed that they have signalled their overseers, the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC), that they will be coming with a proposal to have the water rates increased. The current system charges rates based upon the value of the property with the highest allowed rate being $304 every three months; roughly $3 per day.
While speaking about the recent water restriction implemented by the authority and efforts on their end to conserve water during this time, King said there would be more frequent patrols by the authority’s security services.
“In years gone by you would have heard about water police. Yes, WASA has a security arm and they would be doing patrols to monitor and that really, it would be the main focus.” He informed that they would be increasing patrols and their response to reports of water wasting,” he said.
He assured that the authority would be guided by the laws of the land to ensure they aren’t over stepping their constitutional bounds in this process.
- by Rishard Khan. Photo by Rishi Ragoonath.