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Guangzhou Water Price Hike Arouses Dispute
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The price of water for non-commercial use, which rose to 1.32 yuan (US$0.16) per cubic meter from January1, upset Guangzhou residents, Xinhua's Web site said Wednesday.

Though notices of a water price increase were posted in some residential housing areas in Guangzhou, many residents said they knew the news only from media reports, the Web site said. Most were unpleasantly surprised by the increase.

A resident surnamed Zhao said the justification behind increasing the price of water for household use should be to enhance service quality. He doubted that the price was increased before the service quality was enhanced, which was quite the opposite to what the hearing on the price increase was told. Another man surnamed Kuang living in Haizhu District complained that his family had to pay 20 yuan more for the water, which was not a small sum for his family, the report said.

Some representatives, who had attended the hearing on the water price last September, said they were not satisfied with such price increase.

According to the report, Sun Weili, a hearing representative, said many did not agree with water price hike at the hearing at first. However, they raised their hands to support the increase later after an agreement which stated that the purpose of the water price reform was to promote a new pricing system, enhance water conservation practices and improve the water quality of the city..

The municipal pricing bureau and gardening bureau declined to comment, said the report.

(Shenzhen Daily January 6, 2006)

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