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Water consumption charge assessment takes a hit in city
The Hindu, December 13, 2018


COIMBATORE: This is due to shortage in number of water meter readers

S. Anandaraj, a resident of Ganesapuram, has not seen a Coimbatore Corporation water meter reader assess his consumption in the past six months. In the absence of the reading, he does not know how much water he has consumed and is unable to pay for water charges as well.

He is only echoing the grievance of most of the residents of the old city area – 60 wards, where the civic body's water meter readers have not visited individual houses, apartments, gated communities, shops, shopping complexes, and industries to assess water consumption.

A Corporation engineer says that this is true in most of the 60 wards because the number of water meter readers is fewer than what it should be and the Corporation has assigned additional work to the readers.

The consequence is that the readers have not been able to visit water consumers, assess the consumption and upload the details in computer so that the consumers can pay on time.

A water meter reader says the Corporation that often burdens them with election work and other ground work deployed them to distribute property tax revision forms and re-assess properties where the owners have not submitted forms.

They have been doing the work for at least the past four to six months and therefore have not been able to do their regular work.

The Corporation has 2.94 lakh water connections in the 100 wards and of those, more than one-and-half lakh connections are in the old city area – 60 wards. The Corporation deploys meter readers only in the 60 wards because in added areas like Kavundampalayam, Kalapatti and Vilankurichi, it charges consumers on a slab rate system.

Only in the 60 wards that have metered water connection, it deploys the meter readers to assess consumption.

Another engineer in charge of water supply says that the deployment of water meter readers is based both, on the number of water connections and the size of the ward. If there are more water connections in a ward or if the ward is big as in Ward 41, there are more than one meter readers. Otherwise a meter reader is in-charge of two wards. Every two months, they visit the consumers to assess the reading and the very day upload the details on computer.

But in the past six months becuase of the Corporation redeploying the workers, they have not assessed the consumption and therefore have not been able to upload the details. This has left consumers like Mr. Anandaraj returning without paying the water charges.

Asked about the delayed assessment and uploading of details, a senior Corporation officer says that the situation will be back to normal in the next few days as the water meter readers are back on their job.

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