Chennai Metrowater's process of issuing new water and sewerage tax card has evoked lukewarm response from the consumers with only 95,000 cards obtained since April 15.
There are nearly 6.84 lakh assessees of Chennai Metrowater. The cards serve as a record of the details of the consumers and payments made by them. As the validity of the existing card was till March 2010, the new cards are being issued, for five years till 2014-15.
Consumers in various localities across the city said the water agency did not communicate properly to them about the new cards. Many of them had to visit the depot offices more than once to fill self-declaration form and produce property tax book issued by Chennai Corporation.
Officials of Chennai Metrowater said one of the reasons for the lukewarm response could be that many consumers assume it was enough if they had the receipts for the payments made. As there is a possibility of their misplacing or losing the receipts, it is better to have the card, they added.
Tenants could also collect new cards on behalf of their owners and seek the help of officials to fill the self-declaration forms, the officials said.
Metrowater has also begun sending letters to people informing about the tax and charge arrears. An official said such individual letters were being issued for the first time. Of the 2.75 lakh consumers who are yet to pay arrears, such letters have been sent to about 1.50 lakh consumers so far.
The total arrear due to Chennai Metrowater till March 31 is Rs.107.50 crore. Officials said a portion of arrears often cannot be collected due to reasons such as cases pending in the court, building demolition or locked houses.
The water agency targets to collect 80 per cent of the current demand of Rs.100 crore for the first half year up to September for the period 2010-11.