Suppliers’ strike causes water crisis

Bhaktapur, July 21

Locals of Bhaktapur have been reeling under shortage of water due to the strike of suppliers. Water bottling plants have halted supply of drinking water protesting the tax imposed by Changunarayan Municipality on bottled water.

Nepal Bottled Water Industry Association Bhaktapur regional committee stopped production and supply of water after Changunarayan Municipality awarded the contract to a private company to collect tax from water bottling plants.

President of Nepal Bottled Water Industry Association SubasBhandari said they had no problem with the municipality collecting tax from bottling plants. “However, periodic tax is not acceptable to us,” he added.

Stating that entrepreneurs were ready to pay tax in lump sum to the municipality, Bhandari said it was improper to impose’ export tax’ on water through contractor at multiple places.

Changunarayan Municipality Mayor Som Prasad Mishra said the municipality had been levying tax on bottled water in the past also. He said bottling plants should pay tax as decided by the Municipal Council on the recommendation of the Revenue Advisory Committee, which also has a representative from the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

More than 15 water bottling plants are operating at Jhaukhel of Bhaktapur. The water produced here is supplied to consumers in Bhaktapur as well as in other districts of Kathmandu valley.