Chennai

Metrowater plans to instal bill collection kiosks

In a bid to serve its increasing consumer base and augment revenue collection, Chennai Metrowater is proposing various measures, including installation of kiosks providing information about the bills.

The agency may incur a revenue deficit this fiscal too. The expenditure is estimated to be Rs.719.28 crore whereas the expected income is Rs.622.65 crore. Officials say one of the reasons for this is that Metrowater has not increased tariff since 1998.

As part of its drive to improve tax and charges collection, Metrowater would instal kiosks in two or three locations in the city. The machines with in-built facility to read consumer cards would provide information about tax and charges arrears.

Consumers may choose the period of payment and drop the cheques. Besides issuing receipt, the machine would also provide a photo copy of the cheque deposited, said officials .

The number of assesses has increased from 6.65 lakh during last fiscal to 6.8 lakh so far this fiscal. On an average, the water agency is receiving nearly 80-100 applications every day for new connections.

The number of consumers is expected to go up by 40 per cent after the expansion of the Chennai Corporation. “We are concentrating on providing basic services and identifying additional water filling stations,” an official said.

Since April, the water agency has collected nearly 50 per cent of the tax and charges demand for the first half-yearly ending this month. Of the nearly Rs.245 crore demand raised for this half-yearly period, nearly Rs.122 crore has been collected so far. Usually, a majority of consumers pay their bills in September, an official said.

The demand raised also includes arrears of Rs.99 crore. Metrowater has not been able to collect Rs.25 crore of arrear amount due to court cases.

Text messages are being sent to consumers with details about arrears to be paid. Besides operating its collection centres during weekends, the agency is also conducting special camps to collect revenue from multi-storeyed buildings.

“We are also focussing more on consumers who have to remit tax amount of more than Rs.2 lakh and sending letters to bulk consumers, including municipalities,” the official said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 10:43:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/metrowater-plans-to-instal-bill-collection-kiosks/article2444246.ece

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