April 22, 2008 By NG SU-ANN
Penangites, who have been enjoying the lowest water tariff in the country for years,have welcomed a call by the state government to reduce water wastage.
Some are even prepared to dig deeper into their pockets if the state government decides to increase water rates to dis-courage wastage.
A street poll conducted by The Star yes-terday showed that most consumers responded positively to the Government’s encouragement to reduce water consump-tion.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said consumers might have to pay more for water if the average domestic consumption per person per day exceeds 300 litres. The current amount is 287 litres.
Business administration manager Leong Sui Ling said:
“For my household which comprises four adults and a child, our water bill for two months is between RM30 and RM40.
“Even if the tariff is raised, I doubt it will be a substantial one. Perhaps we will have to pay RM10 to RM20 more than before,” said the 29-year-old.
She said instead of washing her dishes with running water from the tap, she filled her basin with soapy water to clean them.
A supervisor, Abdul Suharto, 37, said lower water consumption meant lower monthly bills.
“By saving water, we will be able to cut our household expenses,” he added.
Administrative assistant Quah Siew Khuan, 55, said if everyone chipped in to save water, this would benefit the state.
“I also observe water-saving tips such as using a watering can to water my plants instead of using a hose,” she added.
However, Mary Evelyn Thomas, 22, said she hoped the state would not increase the tariff too much as this may burden the lower-income group.
Gardener Ismail Hassan, 37, said he was worried that if consumers had to pay more for water, hawkers and other traders might take advantage of the situation by increasing their prices.
Currently, Penang’s tariff rate is 22 sen per 1,000 litres for the first 20,000 litres, 42 sen for the subsequent 20,000 to 40,000 litres, 52 sen for 40,000 to 60,000 litres, 90 sen for 60,000 to 200,000 litres and RM1 for 200,000 litres and beyond.
The last increase was on Jan 1, 2001.