Expert panel to assess eco damage

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Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran
Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran

Special Correspondent

KWA to undertake intensive drive to collect water tariff arrears

Disconnection for not replacing defective meters

Complaint Utility System to be introduced

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran said here on Tuesday that the State government might appoint an expert committee to assess the environmental damage caused by a Coca-Cola unit in Palakkad district.

The Minister said that though the Kerala Ground Water Authority chaired by Additional Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar had decided to recommend appointment of an expert committee, the recommendation had not reached the government. Appropriate action would be taken upon receipt of the recommendation. Mr. Premachandran said the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) would undertake an intensive drive to collect water tariff arrears. Spot billing would be extended to all cities.

Earlier addressing a workshop of KWA officials on revenue collection, the Minister said the connections of consumers who failed to replace defective water meters upon notice would be disconnected. Customers would be billed for the cost of disconnection and reconnection.

The KWA would ensure that all water other than those lost during distribution was billed. Action would be taken against officials failing to do so. Advanced Billing and Accounting and Complaint Utility System would be introduced at all collection centres as part of efforts to streamline revenue collection. Each division would be responsible for the amount of water treated and billed.

Personal ledgers would be introduced for each customer. Steps would be taken to ensure that meters functioned and readings were recorded correctly.

Mr. Premachandran said that executive engineers would monitor meters and consumption by domestic and industrial consumers and residential flats. The law against theft of water would be strictly enforced. Adalats would be organised in all districts for collection of arrears. Connections of consumers excluding those of public health centres under the government would be disconnected if arrears were not paid upon demand. Monthly billing and monitoring would be introduced for collection of arrears from local self-government institutions.

Awareness programmes would be organised at divisional levels for conveying information on the concessions being provided by the government to the poor including free water to those living below the poverty line. Programmes would be charted out to make the KWA a consumer-friendly organisation.

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