The Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, headed by Asha K. Shetty, has quashed the water charges levied on a consumer and asked the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner to pay compensation of Rs. 5,000 for harassing her.

In a recent order, the forum directed the commissioner to recover the amount from the staff members concerned and report it to the Government.

The forum has passed severe strictures against the corporation for forcing the complainant to come before it twice over the same matter.

The corporation, in the first case filed in 2006, told the forum that the bill issued to Sabitha Serrao of Jeppinamogaru would be revised. As a result, the complaint was withdrawn by Ms. Serrao. But the corporation failed to comply with the assurance and made her run from pillar to post to get the bill revised. Besides, the corporation issued another bill, which included the charges levied in the earlier case, forcing Ms. Serrao to file another complaint with the forum.

The order said that Ms. Serrao was entitled to the benefit of the revised water bill for the period from October 8, 2003 to March 10, 2006.

But the corporation issued a bill again on October 29, 2009 for Rs. 3,004, including the disputed bill, “which amounts to deficiency of service”. The forum declined to accept the contention of the corporation that billing had been outsourced and that the hired agency had been asked to take action. Another contention that the presence of dogs on the premises of the complainant was a hindrance for meter reading was also quashed.

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