Consumers will have the option to remit money online and use services of post offices, banks

The serpentine queues infront of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) offices will be a thing of the past as there will soon be multiple options for remitting water tariff, with the KWA entering the final phase of digitising details of its over 15 lakh consumers.

The digitisation process, expected to be completed in five months, will enable the consumers, irrespective of their place of residence, to make payment at any KWA collection point. It will also give them the option of remitting money online or using the services of post offices, banks and akshaya kendras.

The process, which began a year ago, had already covered more than eight lakh consumers and much headway had been made in networking the KWA’s 26 divisions, 78 sub-divisions, and 143 section offices with the main database at KWA headquarters here.

“By the end of the year or the beginning of next year, the digitisation of consumer base and networking of all KWA offices will be over. It will provide the consumers flexibility in paying tariff, help in plugging leakages in billing, and enhance revenue mobilisation,” said Ashok Kumar Singh, Managing Director, KWA. The process, Mr. Singh said, was fast progressing and several of its staff were engaged in feeding customer details electronically, besides providing network connectivity between its divisions.

Work had been completed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Ernakulam. Consumers, the majority of them from Thiruvananthapuram, have started using the online facility, services of banks and post offices to pay the tariff, G. Sujatha, database administrator, KWA, said. As many as 8,146 customers, 7,480 from the capital, had started using the online platform to remit the tariff. Ms. Sujatha said an identity number would be issued along with the bill, which along with the consumer number was required to make online payment by logging on to www.kwa.kerala.gov.in.

The customers had also started using post offices and Federal Bank branches to make payment. Data available with the KWA showed that 5,210 residents of Thiruvananthapuram were remitting the tariff through post offices. Similarly, more than 550 people were making payment at Federal Bank branches, Ms. Sujatha said.

Once the digitisation process was completed, customers across the State could make payments through all post offices. The KWA was trying to rope in nationalised banks to provide payment options for customers.

The system, she said, would bring in more transparency in the utility’s billing procedure and the consumers could have an online view of their account, including details about transactions, and even take a printout of the bill.