Most of them have been getting water from MCC since March 2006

Of the 158 houses at the Karnataka Housing Board Colony in Yekkur 91 houses have been using water supplied by the Mangalore City Corporation since March 2006 without paying the bills. An educational institute on PVS Kalakunj Road here has not paid water bill to the corporation since August 20, 2009. People living in an apartment at Kadri Kambla are not an exception. They have not paid water bills since a year. These are among the 700 such cases detected by the water supply section of the civic body during a drive launched 23 days ago to collect pending water bills in its jurisdiction, K.S. Linge Gowda, Assistant Executive Engineer, (Water Supply), told The Hindu.

He said the drive was an initiative of Mayor Praveen and corporation Commissioner Harish Kumar.

After getting permission from the corporation, owners of houses and institutions, and corporation-authorised plumbers, who gave connections, did not bother to inform the civic body that they were getting water from it. Hence, their sequence numbers were not recorded in the data base of the civic body for issuing bills, Mr. Gowda said.

Mr. Gowda said that the civic body issued a challan (receipt) to a consumer after granting permission for its water connection.

After installing a water meter, the consumer should inform the same to the corporation in writing along with a copy of the challan. If it was a new connection, the corporation would issue a sequence number. If a consumer changed the old or faulty meter, it also should be informed. The corporation would make corrections in its data base. He said that there were 234 plumbers authorised by the corporation who were also duty-bound to inform the corporation about new connections given by them or new meters installed by them. Mr. Gowda said that the corporation was now charging those who had been using free water since March 6, 2006 (the oldest case detected till Thursday). For example, owners of 91 houses in the KHB Colony would have to pay Rs. 5,000 each. Bills were being sent to them and others as well.

He said four teams had been formed to detect water theft and collect pending bills.

Each team comprised a meter inspector, two valve men and a fitter (for disconnecting). They had been given four vehicles. Valve men had been made asked to check domestic water connections in 60 wards.