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Thread: Kerala Water Authority

  1. #1
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    Default Kerala Water Authority

    CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM

    Ayyanthole , Thrissur

    consumer case(CC) No. OP/04/18

    Jagathammal
    ...........Appellant(s)
    Vs.

    Asst. Engineer Kerala Water Authority

    Kerala State

    Kerala Water Authority
    ...........Respondent(s)

    BEFORE:
    1. Padmini Sudheesh
    2. Rajani P.S.
    3. Sasidharan M.S


    Complainant(s)/Appellant(s):
    1. Jagathammal


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):
    1. Asst. Engineer Kerala Water Authority
    2. Kerala State
    3. Kerala Water Authority


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):
    1. Manumon


    OppositeParty/Respondent(s):
    1. K.P.Nisha
    2. G.P. Gopidas.V.




    ORDER

    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The case of complainant is that he is a consumer of the Water Authority. The 1st respondent issued Exhibit P1 bill demanding to pay Rs.5662/- without any basis. From Exhibit P2 it is evident that the meter reading was taken in August 2002. Prior to that reading was taken in April 1995. It was the duty of the Water Authority to take the meter reading in time. There was no demand from the water authority to pay the alleged arrears except Exhibit P1 bill. This is deficiency in service and the complainant is not liable to remit any arrears. The liability if any is barred by limitation. The complainant has remitted the water charges up to March 2004. On receiving the bill the complainant approached the 1st respondent office seeking clarification, but was not clarified. Hence this complaint to cancel the bill. The complaint is amended as per Order in IA 1215/05.

    2. The counter of 1st and 2nd respondent is that as per the meter reading the complainant is liable to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount. It is true that the complainant was paying charges through provisional invoice card. But the charges paid through P.I.C. was only minimum charge. During the period from 4/95 to 5/01 several times gone to take the reading, but could not take due to closing of gate. The bill is issued as per consumption and the complainant is liable to pay the amount. Hence dismiss.

    3. The 3rd respondent filed separate counter stating the same facts.

    4. The points for consideration are :
    1) Is the Exhibit P1 bill genuine ?
    2) Other reliefs and costs ?
    5. The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 to P3 and Exhibit R1.

    6. Points : The complaint is filed to get cancellation of Exhibit P1 bill. According to the complainant the first respondent used to issue genuine bills recorded by the authorized meter and the complainant paid the bills amount without arrears. So according to him the Exhibit P1 bill is baseless. The respondents contended that the complainant has paid only the minimum charges and is liable to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount as the water charges for the water actually consumed. They have stated the details in counter and also produced the copy of ledger and marked as Exhibit R1. One of the main contention of the complainant is that since she has paid the bills amount regularly she is not liable to pay the amount stated in Exhibit P1 notice. So she relies on Exhibit P2 invoice card to show the payments. Exhibit P2 shows only the payments of minimum charges. Exhibit R1 is the copy of ledger showing the reading. The complainant has no case that the meter was defective and did not show the correct consumption. But she simply alleges that the reading was not proper. But no reason is stated to allege such a matter. As per Exhibit R1 the complainant has to pay Rs.5,662/- more. Exhibit R1 shows the meter reading and monthly consumption. Since there is no allegation of defect to meter complainant has to pay the amount stated.

    7. The complainant has put another point that the Exhibit P1 bill will not stand hence it is barred by limitation. But this view is not correct because the consumption and payment are continuing. But it is a serious latches on the part of respondents in issuing delayed bills. From the year of connection onwards they have demanded the charges now. This is nothing but serious service deficiency. So the respondents are not entitled for cost and compensation. But in the present case as per Exhibit R1 the complainant had consumed water as stated. So she is liable to pay for that. Since there is no other allegation on the part of complainant, we have no other option but to dismiss the claim of complainant.

    8. In the result complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the Exhibit P1 bill amount within three months.

    Dictated to the Confdl. Asst., transcribed by her, corrected by me and pronounced in the open Forum this the 20th day of March 2009



    ......................
    Padmini Sudheesh

    ......................
    Rajani P.S.

    ......................
    Sasidharan M.S

  2. #2
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    ORDER
    By Smt. Padmini Sudheesh, President

    The averments in the complaint are as follows:
    The complainant is a consumer of 1st respondent vide Consumer No.393. Both children of the complainant were out of station and she is only residing in the home. The complainant has a well in her residential premises and she is using water from the well also. The water connection, she is maintaining namesake and the monthly charge was Rs.22/-. The residential property was purchased from one Kunjumon and she had remitted the charges up to 29/12/01. After that it was seen that the connection was in the name of one Premavathy and she had paid the charges up to 2004 September. So an application was filed to correct the name and corrected. While so on 9/8/04 a notice was accepted by the complainant to pay Rs.3294/- as arrears during the period from 1999 July to 2004 July. In the impugned notice it was also stated that the rate has increased to Rs.76/-. So the complainant had put complaints to the respondents and also to Minister for Water Resources. Without considering all these a bill dated 2/8/05 demanding to pay Rs.4383/- was issued and threatened to disconnect if one third of the amount is not paid. So the complainant has paid Rs.1152/- on 8/11/05 and Rs.1500/- on 26/9/05. The bill is illegal and unjust and the complainant is not liable to pay the bill. Hence the complaint.

    2. The averments in the counter are as follows:
    From the Meter reading it was realized that the complainant is using 28KL water per month. So the charges to that consumption from July 1999 to July 2004 was Rs.4636/- and Rs.76/- is the monthly charge. The complainant had remitted Rs.22/- per month and the disputed bill is issued for the balance amount. The Meter reading on 27/6/04 was 1730 and the same reading shown on 2004 December also. There was defect to the Meter. So the respondent wanted to cure the defects of the meter or to replace and a notice was issued on June 2005 to replace the meter or to cure the defects . But the complainant did not do so. From 2004 October she is not paying the minimum water charge. When the disputed bill was issued the complainant sought the facility of instalment and allowed to pay by three instalments. Hence on 26/9/2005 Rs.1500/- was paid and on 8/11/05 Rs.1000/- was also paid. At present the amount due is for Rs.2155/-. There is no deficiency in service. Hence dismiss the complaint.

    3.2nd respondent filed statement adopting the contentions of 1st respondent.

    4.The points for consideration are:

    1) Is there any deficiency in service ?
    2) If so reliefs and costs ?

    5.The evidence consists of Exhibits P1 to P14 and Exhibit R1.

    6. Points : This complaint is filed to cancel the Exhibit P10 bill. The bill contains
    an amount of Rs.4383/-. The case of complainant in brief is that the water supplied by respondent was used by the consumer nominally and she has other water resource and so Exhibit P1 bill is illegal and unfair. According to her she is not liable to pay the amount stated in the impugned bill. In the counter the respondents stated that the amount sought to be paid is the arrears during the period from 1993 July to 2004 July. According to them there was consumption exceeding the minimum charge of Rs.76/- and the complainant is liable to pay the balance amount.

    6.The Exhibit P10 bill shows an amount of Rs.4383/-. On 9/8/04 a bill demanding to pay Rs.3294/- was issued seeking the arrears from July 1999 to July 2004. But the complainant did not turn up. So after one year the disputed Exhibit P10 bill was issued and the complainant, immediately paid Rs.1500/- on the next month itself and Rs.1152/- on 8/11/05. According to the respondent the amount sought is the arrears of the above mentioned period. According to them the meter reading shows the usage of water as 28KL per month and the charges for usage will come to Rs.76/-. The complainant had remitted Rs.22/- per month which was the monthly amount to be remitted. After the reading this fact was noticed and Exhibit P6 notice was issued. The complainant has no complaint against the meter and she states that she has no such consumption and is using the water of Authority nominally. There is no evidence to prove this fact. The bills are issuing as per the reading and the reading shows the quantity of consumption. Since there is no allegation on the part of complainant that meter was defective the complainant is liable to pay the disputed bill amount.

    7. In the counter it is stated that on 27/6/04 the meter reading was 1730 and on
    December 2004 the same reading was there. The respondent had noticed the defect of meter and wanted to cure the defect or replacement. But the complainant did not obey it and according to the respondents till date complainant has not obeyed it. When Exhibit R6 notice has issued the complainant did not even react against it and when Exhibit P10 notice was issued she made application to the Minister of Water Resources and petition to respondent etc. After the issuance of Exhibit P10 notice the complainant had remitted Rs.2652/- and which shows the admission of the amount and no averment that the remittances were under strict protest. If she has any dispute with the amount she will take action at the time of Exhibit P6 notice itself. But there is no such steps seen.

    8. Exhibit P7 is a letter produced by the complainant and in which it is stated that there was no water connection at that time. But in the complaint it is stated that on 1999 she had purchased the property from one Kunjumon and water connection was there at that time also. So the views of the complainant are quite contradictory and the complaint is liable to pay the balance amount.

    9. In the result complaint is dismissed and the complainant is directed to pay the balance amount of Rs.1731/- (Rupees One thousand seven hundred and thirty one only) within a month.

  3. #3
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    ORDER


    SHRI. G. SIVAPRASAD, PRESIDENT:


    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that complainant is the owner of building bearing No. 25/2788, that complainant obtained the said building by virtue of settlement deed No.2602/1994, that complainant had effected mutation and ownership of the building was changed in her name, that the said building has water connection vide consumer No. PCH 38, that the monthly water charge was Rs.32/-, that complainant had remitted the water charges upto October 2001, that complainant was served a bill dated 31/12/2001 by the opposite parties demanding an amount of Rs. 25,113/-, and bill dated 24/6/2002 for Rs. 19,621/-, that the said bills were prepared without mentioning the meter reading and the period for which the amount claimed. By the illegal acts of the opposite parties the complainant is under great loss and hardship. Opposite parties have failed to redress the grievance of the complainant. There is deficiency of service on the part of opposite parties. Hence this complaint to order that opposite parties are not entitled to collect any amount from the complainant on the basis of disputed bills, to refix the water charges on the basis of average consumption of water for a period of six months, and to recover compensation and cost.


    2. Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that the complaint is not maintainable either in law or on facts, the water meter installed in the premises was not functioning, that a new water meter was installed on 22/9/1997, and on the basis of readings bill was prepared, after on 18/1/2002 meter was not working, again a new meter was fixed on 30/1/2002, the readings were taken on the basis of the installed meter, the nature of occupancy was also changed from 11/2001 and the connection is now used for BPL service centre, and that the complainant has no right to ask for a change in the previous averages based on the present averages especially when there is a change in the nature of occupancy. It is further stated that considering the request of the complainant and the abnormal average consumption from 2/3/2001, a lenient view was taken and the complainant was allowed a 50% reduction in water charges for the period from 3/2001 to 11/2001 by waving 50% of excess consumption over the normal consumption and new bill was issued to the complainant. Complainant is bound to pay the charges as per the bill. Hence opposite parties prayed for dismissal of the complaint.


    3. The points that arise for consideration are:



          1. Whether opposite parties are entitled to collect the amounts as per bills dated 31/12/2001 & 24/6/2002.




          1. Whether there has been deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?
          2. Other reliefs and cost?



    4. In support of the complaint, complainant has filed affidavit and Exts. P1 to P7 were marked. In rebuttal, opposite parties filed counter affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any documents.


    5. Points (i) to (iii) : It has been the case of the complainant, that complainant is the owner of the building bearing TC.25/2788 with water connection therein vide consumer No. PCH 38 by virtue of a settlement deed No.2602 of 1994, that the monthly water charge was Rs.32/- and that the complainant had remitted the water charge upto October 2001. It has also been the case of the complainant, that complainant was served two bills – one bill dated 30/1/2002 for Rs.25,113/- and another bill dated 24/6/2002 for Rs.19,621/- by the opposite parties without any basis. Ext. P1 is the copy of the letter addressed to 2nd opposite party requesting him to issue fresh bill on the basis of actual meter reading on replacement of water meter. Ext.P1 letter is seen issued by Smt.Saradamma.G. Ext.P2 is the copy of the receipt dated 30/1/2002 issued by the opposite party for meter replacement. Ext.P3 is the copy of the consumer bill dated 31/1/2002. As per Ext.P3, the consumer is Smt.Saradamma.G., consumer No.is PCH 38/N, consumer class is non-domestic, status– working, amount to be remitted is Rs.25,113/-, the period for which the amount claimed is not mentioned. Ext.P4 is the copy of the letter addressed to consumer No.PCH 38/N in response to the complaint dated 12/6/2002. Ext.P5 is the copy of the consumer bill dated 30/6/2002, for Rs.19,621/- issued to Saradamma. The bill is seen prepared under non-domestic consumer class. Ext.P6 is the copy of the provisional invoice card wherein the name of the consumer is G.Saradamma, category is domestic. As per payment schedule in Ext.P6, an amount of Rs.2,368/- is seen remitted on 5/11/2001 upto 10/2001. Ext.P7 is the copy of the letter dated 10/2/2000 addressed to 2nd opposite party by Saradamma, seeking permission to replace the defective water meter with new meter. On going through the Exts.P1 to P7 the water connection stands in the name of Saradamma. In her affidavit complainant claims to be the grand daughter of Saradamma and the owner of the said building. There is no material on the record to show that water connection stands in the name of the complainant nor did complainant furnish title deed concerned to establish that the premises to which consumer No.PCH 38 installed belongs to her. If complainant had effected mutation and changed ownership of the property in her name, complainant ought to have changed water connection in her name. Opposite parties, in their version has stated that, the water meter in the premises was not functioning, that a new water meter was again fixed on 30/1/2002, on the basis of which, on application filed by the complainant, the previous Forum directed opposite parties not to include the disputed bills amount of Rs.25,113/- and Rs. 19,621/- in the subsequent bills. The disputed bills are seen issued under non-domestic category. Submission by the opposite parties is that the nature of occupancy has changed from 11/2001 and the connection is now used for BPL service centre, and that the consumer has no right to ask for a change in the previous averages (which are as per the working readings) based on the present aveages especially when there is a change in the nature of occupancy. It is urged by the opposite parties that initially the bill was issued as per the readings, however, as per the request of the complainant and as per the abnormal average consumption from 2/3/2001, a lenient view was taken and the complainant was allowed a 50% reduction in water charges for the period from 3/2001 to 11/2001 by waiving 50% of excess consumption over the normal consumption. Submission by the complainant is that the meter was not working for the last several years, during the said period opposite party had fixed average monthly consumption as 139.50kl, but after the installation of new water meter the average monthly consumption is only 12kl. It is pertinent to note that complainant had filed a petition to produce the water meter reading register of the consumer No.PCH 38 by the opposite parties. Even after several opportunities were given to opposite parties, opposite parties did not furnish the same. The pleadings in the version is not seen substantiated by opposite parties by cogent and convincing evidence. Preparation of bill on the basis of presumption and assumption will definitely suffocate the complainant. The genuineness of the said bills not proved. Hence we find opposite parties are not entitled to collect the amount as per the said bills. If the meter readings were taken as per provision of the Water Supply Regulations, opposite party could send the adjusted bill in time. Non-issuance of the adjusted bill in time would amount to deficiency in service.


    In the result complaint is allowed. The bills dated 31/12/2001 and 24/6/2002 (Exts. P3 & P5) issued by the opposite parties are hereby quashed. Opposite parties are at liberty to re-fix water charges and raise fresh bill on the basis of average consumption for six months as per meter readings on the newly installed meter. There will be no compensation and costs in facts and circumstances of the case.

  4. #4
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    Default Kerala Water Authority

    The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that complainants are consumers of opposite parties vide consumer No. KMA 8997/N, that the monthly charges for water consumed are being paid regularly, that the entire dues upto 8/03 had been paid. The said water connection was taken in 1995 as non-domestic connection for the purpose of repair and improvement of the building No. T.C 50/1045, which is owned by the 1st complainant and occupied by all other complainants as tenants. After repair and improvement of the building complainants 2 to 6 began to reside in the building in March 1996. In all the 5 rooms in the building only one person is residing in each room, the said rooms are rented out to complainants 2 to 6. Though the connection is in the name of the 1st complainant, complainants 2 to 6 are the actual beneficiaries of water supply. Opposite parties did not take meter reading as prescribed by law. On 22.09.2003 1st complainant was served a bill claiming arrear of Rs. 492/- alleging to be dues upto 6/03 plus monthly dues at Rs. 154/- for July and August. In the said bill the status of the meter is recorded as 'not working'.

    The reading on 04.02.2000 is recorded as 716 KL and that on 08.08.2001 as 1091 KL and average monthly consumption as per the said bill is 20.07 KL, the monthly charge for the said consumption is noted as Rs. 154/-. Complainant applied for replacement of meter vide his application dated 21.10.2003 and complainant purchased water meter which has been certified okay by the 2nd opposite party. Before the installation of the new meter 1st opposite party issued a bill dated 21.10.2003 for Rs. 6,201/- for the period upto 08/03. In the said bill monthly charges is mentioned as Rs. 256/-. The said bill is issued without any basis. The said bill is the outcome of mere guess work. Hence this complaint to cancel the bill dated 21.10.2003, to instal new water meter purchased by the 1st complainant, to give the status of domestic category with retrospective effect from March 1996 onwards, to re-fix the monthly charges and to pay compensation and costs.

    Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that only the 1st complainant is a consumer of opposite parties and other complainants are not consumers of the opposite parties. The above said connection is in the name of the 1st complainant and the privity of contract exists between the 1st complainant and opposite parties. It is admitted by the 1st complainant himself that complainants 2 to 6 are tenants of the 1st complainant.

    The connection from the inception is non-domestic, 1st complainant is letting out the rooms to the tenants and hence the said building is used as a lodge. 1st complainant has not given any application for changing the status from non-domestic to domestic. Meter readings were taken at regular intervals and bill issued can vary as per the actual consumption. The meter for the 1st complainant's water connection was not working. The calculations are arrived at in accordance with the relevant statement. The bill issued to the complainant is correct. Hence opposite parties prayed for dismissal of the complaint.

    Points that arise for consideration are:-

    1.

    Whether the 1st complainant is entitled to get the bill dated 21.10.2003 cancelled?
    2.

    Whether the 1st complainant is entitled to installation of new water meter?
    3.

    Whether the 1st complainant is entitled to get the status of domestic category with retrospective effect from March 1996?
    4.

    Whether there has been deficiency in service on the part of the opposite parties?
    5.

    Whether the 1st complainant is entitled to get any compensation and costs?

    In support of the complaint, 1st complainant has filed an affidavit of himself as PW1 in lieu of examination in chief and Exts. P1 to P10 were marked. In rebuttal 1st opposite party has filed affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any documents. The 1st complainant has not been cross examined by the opposite parties.

    Points (i) to (v):- Admittedly the consumer No. KMA 8997/N stands in the name of the 1st complainant. 1st complainant himself admitted that the rooms in the building concerned are rented out to the complainants 2 to 6 and complainants 2 to 6 are the actual beneficiaries of water supply. It has been the case of the complainant that complainants 2 to 6 are paying water charges in equal shares from March 1996 onwards, and 1st complainant is collecting their share and remitting the same in the office of the opposite parties.

    It has also been the case of the complainant that the building was and is used for residential purpose only and water is consumed only for that purpose. Opposite parties resisted the complaint by submitting that the premises are used for a commercial activity, that the lodging is being conducted by the 1st complainant since it is admitted by the 1st complainant that the rooms are letting out to tenants. It is to be presumed as lodge, thereby the premises are used for commercial activities. As such complainants 2 to 6 have no locus standi to file the complaint. Since the 1st complainant admitted that the rooms in the building concerned were rented to complainants 2 to 6, the contention of the opposite parties that 1st complainant is conducting a lodging business stands proved and complainant is liable to remit water charges under non-domestic category as prescribed by law. The next point requiring consideration is whether the complainant is entitled to get the bill dated 21.10.2003 cancelled. In this context it is to be noted as per Ext. P2 provisional invoice card that complainant is seen remitted water charges upto 3/03.

    As per Ext. P2 the monthly amount to be remitted has been revised from Rs. 60/- to Rs. 154/-. On the overleaf of Ext. P2 it is seen recorded the amounts remitted on various occasions by the complainant. Ext. P3 is a consumer bill dated 22.07.2003 for Rs. 800/-. In the said bill it is to be noted that status of the meter is recorded as not working. Further it is recorded that dues upto 6/03 is Rs. 478/-. Water charges for months from 7/03 to 8/03 is Rs. 308/-. The total amount claimed is Rs. 800/-. Ext. P8 is another consumer bill dated 21.10.2003 for Rs. 6,457/-,wherein the dues upto 8/03 claimed is Rs. 6201/-, status of the meter is not working. It is to be pointed out that as per Ext. P3 bill arrear dues upto 6/03 is Rs. 478/- only. As per Ext. P8 within two months the said arrears rose to Rs. 6,201/-.

    There is no reason for an arrear bill for Rs. 6,021/- within two months when monthly consumption till then according to the opposite parties is 20.7 KL. Complainant has the right to know the mode of calculation of water charges etc. from the opposite parties. Opposite party has never produced any documents to substantiate their contention that dues upto 6/03 amounting to Rs. 478/- rose to Rs. 6,201/- upto 8/03. As per the provisions of the Water Supply Regulations the actual amount due must be ascertained on reading the meter and necessary adjustment bill showing the amounts due must be sent to the complainant once in 6 months. Admittedly water meter is not working. On perusal of Ext. P3 and P8 it is crystal clear that Ext. P8 is prepared without any basis as such we find complainant is entitled get Ext.P8 bill dated 21.10.2003 cancelled.

    It is admitted by both parties that meter is not working and Ext. P4 is the copy of application sent by the 1st complainant to the 1st opposite party in order to take steps to instal new meter in the said premises. Ext. P4 application is seen dated 21.10.2003. Ext. P6 is the bill dated 21.10.2003 issued by Kailasesara Agencies issued to the 1st complainant. Ext. P7 is the certificate issued by office of the Assistant Executive Engineer, Water Works Central Sub Division dated 26.09.2003. Ext. P9 is a copy of the notice issued to 1st complainant by opposite parties intimating him that water supply will be cut off from the said premises after 7 days from the date of service of notice to 1st complainant for a sum of Rs. 9,236/- is not paid. Ext. P10 is the receipt issued by opposite parties for Rs. 2,000/- towards water charges. The said amount is seen remitted by the 1st complainant as per the direction of this Forum to avoid disconnection of water supply. As per the provisions of Water Supply Regulation if water meter is found faulty it has to be replaced by the consumer with the consent of the opposite parties.

    Complainant has already remitted Rs. 2,000/- as per the direction of this Forum. Since the meter is not working, replacement of the old meter with new meter is necessitated and opposite parties need to permit the complainant to instal the new meter in the place of faulty meter. On installation of the new meter opposite party shall raise fresh bill on the basis of the average meter readings for 3 months for the whole period from 7/03 onwards. As per Ext. P3 upto 6/03 there was an arrear of Rs. 478/-, that is to be included in the new bill to be issued to the complainant. Rs. 2,000/- remitted by the 1st complainant as per Ext. P10 receipt dated 30.07.2004 is to be deducted from the new bill to be issued to the complainant. Opposite party shall also deduct further amounts if any remitted by the 1st complainant towards water charges after 30.07.2004.

    In the result, complaint is partly allowed. The bill dated 21.10.2003 for Rs. 6,457/- (Ext. P8) issued by 1st opposite party is hereby cancelled. Opposite party shall permit the 1st complainant to instal a new meter in the place of old faulty meter and raise fresh consumer bill on the basis of average meter readings for 3 months for the period retrospectively from 7/03 onwards, after deduction of Rs. 2,000/- as per Ext. P10 receipt dated 30.07.2004 and further amounts if any remitted by the complainant after 30.07.2004 towards water charge. 1st complainant shall remit the said bill amount in 5 equal monthly instalments commencing from the month of issuance of the new bill. There will be no compensation and costs in the facts and circumstances of the case.

  5. #5
    adv.sumit is offline Senior Member
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    Default Kerla Water Authority

    M.Shamsuddeen,

    Moorshingal House,

    Sthuthi,

    Mannarkkad College.P.O,

    Mannarkkad,

    Palakkad – 678 583. - Complainant

    (Party in person)




    Vs




    The Assistant Executive Engineer,

    Kerla Water Authority,

    Mannarkkad,

    Palakkad – 678 582.
    Opposite party




    O R D E R



    Complainant is a consumer under the water supply scheme of Kerala Water Authority, Mannarkkad with consumer No.869/MKD/D. Complainant is remitting Rs.87/- towards the water charges as directed by the opposite party for the last few years. On 16/06/08, the opposite party issued an additional bill No.1567 dtd.16/06/08 for Rs.3068/-. As per the bill complainant is seen to have consumed 444.25 KL of water during the period 16/06/07 to 15/01/08. Complainant contacted the office of the opposite party and informed that he has not consumed 444.25 KL of water during the said period and hence the bill has to be cancelled.


    According to the complainant there was no regular water supply during summer season due to water shortage. Hence meter reading noted is not only for the supply of water but also for the passage of air. Complainant is bound to pay only for the water consumed. Hence the complaint is filed seeking an order directing the opposite party to cancel the additional bill issued by the opposite party and to pay Rs.3,000/- as compensation to the complainant.

    The opposite party filed version stating the following contentions. Opposite party admitted that the complainant is a consumer under the water supply scheme of the Kerala Water Authority, Mannarkkad and they issued an additional bill dtd.16/06/08 for Rs.3068/-. On 09/07/07, the opposite party informed the complainant that the meter was not working properly. The same was replaced on 16/07/07. The additional bill issued by the opposite party for Rs.3,068/- is in accordance with the meter reading. Meter of the complainant's connection was fault and it was replaced on 16/07/2007. On 16/07/2007 meter reading is noted as 0.75 kl. Reading was again taken on 15/01/2008 after a period of 6 month shows 445 kl. The average consumption for the period amounts to 74 kl.


    Accordingly monthly payment was raised Rs.358/- and excess bill was issued. The bill was issued deducting the amount already paid by the complainant. The opposite party admits the fact that there is chance of air trapped in the pipe line when it is empty. But according to opposite party, it is the responsibility of the complainant to fix air valve before the meter in order to release the air. Complainant has not approached water authority for any technical advice regarding this. Hence the complaint is to be dismissed with Rs.5,000/- as compensatory cost.




    Complainant filed chief affidavit along with document. Ext.A1 marked on the side of complainant. The opposite party filed chief affidavit and documents. Ext.B1 to B3 marked on the side of opposite party. Matter was heard.




    Issues to be considered are;

    1.

    Whether there is any deficiency of service on the part of opposite party?
    2.

    If so, what is the relief and cost?




    Issues 1 & 2:

    We perused relevant documents on record. According to Ext.B1, the complainant has paid the minimum water charges of Rs.87/- per month. It is seen that Ext.A1 Bill dtd.16/06/08 is in accordance with the meter reading. If the complainant has a case that the meter has turned due to the passage of air, it is the duty of the complainant to fix air valve by informing the opposite party. Hence we do not find any deficiency in the service provided by the opposite party.

    In the result, complaint dismissed. Opposite party is directed to provide instalment facility for at least three months for payment of the bill amount by the complainant.

  6. #6
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    Default Kerala Water Authority

    APPEAL NO:27/2004

    JUDGMENT DATED:13..12..2007

    PRESENT

    SRI.M.V.. VISWANATHAN : JUDICIAL MEMBER


    SMT.VALSALA SARANGADHARAN : MEMBER


    SRI.S. CHANDRAMOHAN NAIR : MEMBER

    The Asst. Ex. Engineer,

    Kerala Water Authority, : APPELLANT

    P.H.Section, Kollam.



    (By Adv: Sri.C.Sasidharan Pillai)



    V.

    V.Christyamma, W/o P.Francis,

    Nankiyarthottam Veedu, : RESPONDENT

    Velomon West, Kollam (PN/347).



    JUDGMENT



    SHRI.M.V. VISWANATHAN : JUDICIAL MEMBER



    The above appeal is directed against the order dated:20th October 2003 of the CDRF, Kollam in OP:251/02 which was filed by the respondent as complainant against the appellant as opposite party seeking the relief for cancellation of the water bill issued in the month of June 2002 for a sum of Rs.26,030/- and also for compensation on the ground of deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party. The opposite party disputed the case pleaded by the complainant and thereby contended that the water charge bill was issued on the basis of the meter readings taken in June 1997; that the said bill amount is demanded towards the water charges for the water actually consumed by the complainant. But the lower forum did not accept the case of the opposite party and thereby the complaint is allowed quashing the P1 demand notice dated:16..7..2002 issued by the opposite party demanding a sum of Rs.26,030/- towards the additional charges for the period from 1990 up to June 2002 at the rate of Rs.182/- per month with the penal interest/surcharge. The lower forum has also awarded a compensation of Rs.1000/- to the complainant. Aggrieved by the said order the present appeal is preferred by the opposite party.

    When this appeal was taken up for final hearing there was no representation for the respondent. We heard the counsel for the appellant/opposite party. The learned counsel for the appellant submitted his arguments on the basis of the grounds urged in the Memorandum of the present appeal. It is further submitted that the disputed bill was issued towards the water charges based on the meter readings taken and also for the water actually consumed by the respondent/complainant. Thus, the appellant requested for setting aside the impugned order passed by the lower forum in OP:251/02.

    The points that arise for consideration are:-

    1. Is there occurred any deficiency of service on the part of the appellant/opposite party in issuing Ext.P1 demand notice for Rs.26,030/- to the respondent/complainant?

    2. Whether the lower forum can be justified in holding that water charges for more than six months in a bill is prohibited under the provisions of the Kerala water Supply and Sewerage Act, 1986.

    3. Is there any sustainable ground to interfere with the impugned order dated:20..10..2003 passed by the lower forum in OP:251/02.

    POINTS 1 TO 3:-

    There is no dispute that the respondent/complainant is a consumer of the appellant/opposite party (Kerala Water Authority). There is also no dispute that provisional invoice card was issued to the complainant as the consumer as provided under Regulation-13(b) of water supply regulations. As per the aforesaid provisional invoice card (PIC) the complainant as a consumer of the Kerala Water Authority was bound to pay the water charges at the rate of Rs.19/- from the year 1990 onwards. The definite case of the appellant/opposite party is that the complainant neglected to make any payment towards the water charges from the year 1990 onwards. The aforesaid contention of the opposite party/Kerala water Authority has not been disproved by the complainant by producing the necessary provisional invoice card or the necessary receipts for payment of the water charges due to Kerala Water Authority under the provisional invoice card. In the absence of any such evidence it can very safely be concluded that the respondent/complainant as a consumer was a defaulter in making payment towards the water charges due to Kerala Water Authority under the provisional invoice card, from the year 1990 onwards. It is also to be noted that as per the subsequent revision noted by the Kerala Water Authority the monthly charge of Rs.19/- has been revised to Rs.22/-, with effect from 1..4..99. Thus, it is made clear that the respondent/complainant as a consumer under Kerala Water Authority is bound to pay the charges at the rate of Rs.19/- from the year 1990 up to and inclusive of March 1999 and thereafter at the rate of Rs.22/- per month from April 1999 till this date. It is also to be borne in mind that as per the provisional invoice card and the provisions contained in clause (b) of Regulation-13 of Water Supply regulations, the consumer of water under the Kerala Water Authority is bound to remit the minimum charge fixed by virtue of the provisional invoice card, without any demand. It is also to be noted that there is no period of limitation for the amount due to water authority under the aforesaid provisional invoice card issued, by virtue of the provisions contained in regulation 13(b) of Water Supply regulations.

    The witness examined from the side of the appellant/opposite party namely DW1 has the spoken to about Ext.D1 copy of the meter reading register maintained by the Kerala Water Authority. She has also deposed about the meter installed at the premises of the complainant/consumer in the year 1990 and the issuance of the provisional invoice card and the failure on the part of the complainant to remit the water charges from the year 1990 onwards. She has also spoken to about the meter reading taken on 11..10..1995, when the faulty meter was replaced and that the subsequent meter reading taken in June 1997 and the quantity of the water consumed by the complainant was noted as 999.kilo litres of water during the period between 11..10..1995 and June 1997. The aforesaid evidence adduced from the side of the appellant/opposite party would make it clear that the average consumption of water would come to 50.kilo litres per month. If that be so, the monthly rate of water charge would come to Rs.182/-, according to the revised rate which came into force on 1..4..1999 and prior to that the monthly rate would come to Rs.134/-. But as per regulation-13 of water supply regulations the appellant/opposite party cannot revise or vary the water charges without taking the meter readings at an interval of six months. In the present case the revision is effected for the period from the year 1999 up to June 2002. A reading of Regulation 13 would make it clear that the aforesaid method or procedure adopted by the appellant/opposite party in revising the provisional invoice card or in demanding the arrears of water charges for a long period that is, from 1999 to June 2002 is irregular and unauthorized. Regulation 13 of the Water Supply Regulations reads as follows:-

    13. ASSESSMENT OF WATER CHARGES

    (a) The water consumed at the premises of a consumer shall be assessed at such intervals as decided by the Executive Engineer from time to time, based on meter readings taken from the meter fixed to the house connection at the premises of the consumer.

    (b) The authority may also fix the monthly rate of water charges of a consumer based on his average consumption in the case of new connections and issue a provisional card in Form No:VIII indicating therein the amount of water charges payable by the consumer every month, the date of payment and the institution at which the amount is to be remitted. The charges so fixed shall be revised if the consumption of water at the premises of the consumer is found to have increased or decreased based on the observations of the meter readings taken in the subsequent six months to the last period.

    (c) The Authority may also introduce a slab system for collection of water charges. The slab so fixed shall be revised if the consumption of water at the premises of the consumer is found to have increased or decreased as the case may be, based on observations of the meter readings taken in the subsequent six months to the last period. The initial average rate for the first six months shall be fixed on the average consumption or metered average consumption of any six months proceeding the date of coming into force of the slab system.

    (d) If the water charges as provided under clauses (b) and (c) of this regulation, already remitted by the consumer is found to be in excess or short based on the meter readings taken subsequently, the consumer shall pay to the Authority the amount short remitted and the Authority shall adjust the amount collected in excess from the consumer in the subsequent payments. An adjustment bill in Form No:IX shall be issued once in every six months to the consumer indicating the excess or short remitted by the consumer.”

    Clause (a) of regulation 13 stipulates that the water consumed at the premises of a consumer shall be assessed at such intervals as decided by the Executive Engineer from time to time. It is an admitted fact that the water consumed is to be assessed by taking the water meter readings at the intervals of six months. In the present case, the appellant/opposite party has failed to take the readings as stipulated under clause (a) of Regulation-13.

    Clause (b) of regulation 13 prescribes the procedure to be adopted in case there is increase or decrease of consumption of water by a consumer. It is also made clear that the water charge fixed in the provisional invoice card can only be revised on the basis of meter readings taken with intervals of six months each. In the present case, the additional bill (P1 demand) has been issued by the appellant/opposite party without taking such readings as stipulated in clause (b) of Regulation 13.

    Clause (d) of regulation 13 has prescribed the mode or method to be adopted in case the water charges are revised under clause (b) and (c) of regulation 13. It is also stated that the adjustment Bills in form IX shall be issued once in every six months to the consumer indicating the excess or short remitted by the consumer. In the present case no such adjustment Bill has been issued at the intervals of six months to the complainant/consumer. In this case there occurred failure on the part of the officials of Kerala Water Authority in following the provisions contained in the regulations 13 of the Water Supply regulations issued under the Kerala Water Supply and Sewerage Act, 1986. That being so, the issuance of P1 demand notice for Rs.26,030/- as arrears can be treated as a sort of deficiency of service on the part of the appellant/opposite party. We have no hesitation to hold that there was deficiency of service on the part of the appellant/opposite party. The lower forum is justified in canceling Ext.P1 demand notice for Rs.26,030/-.

    We have already discussed the matter regarding the failure on the part of the respondent/complainant in making the payment towards the water charges due to Kerala Water Authority under the provisional invoice card and that the said default has been committed from the year 1990 onwards. The lower forum cannot be justified in prohibiting the appellant/opposite party in claiming water charges for more than six months in a bill. It is to be noted that the complainant/consumer is legally bound to pay the arrears of water charges as per the provisional invoice card from the year 1990 onwards. There is no provision in the Kerala Water Supply and Sewerage Act, 1986 or in the rules and regulations framed there under prohibiting collection of arrears of water charges due under the provisional invoice card. It is made abundantly clear that the respondent/complainant being the consumer under the Kerala Water authority is legally bound to pay the arrears of water charges (minimum charges) due under the provisional invoice card. The appellant/opposite party will be at liberty to issue proper bill to the respondent/complainant demanding arrears of water charges with the necessary penal interest/surcharge due to Kerala Water Authority, by virtue of the provisional invoice card issued to the complainant as a consumer. So, the finding of the lower forum that claiming of water charges


    for more than six months in a bill is prohibited under the provisions of the Act is legally unsustainable and the said finding is hereby quashed.

    We have already held that the appellant/opposite party cannot be justified in issuing the demand notice or bill demanding the sum of Rs.26,030/- based on the meter readings taken in June 1997. It is also come out in evidence that the respondent/complainant is a chronic defaulter in making payment of water charges due under the provisional invoice card. In such a situation it was not just or reasonable to award compensation of Rs.1000/- to the complainant. So, the order directing the appellant/opposite party to pay Rs.1000/- as compensation to the complainant is setaside. It is also to be borne in mind that the readings taken in October 1995 and June 1997 would give an indication that the complainant as a consumer of water has increased her consumption of water and the consumption would come to 50.kilo litres of water per month. So, the appellant/opposite party can claim water charges at the rate of 50.kilo litres of water per month amounting to Rs.182/- per month from the complainant for a period of six months. Thus, the impugned order passed by the lower forum is modified to the extent as indicated above. These points are answered accordingly.

    In the result the appeal is disposed of. The impugned order dated: 20..10..2003 passed by the lower forum in OP:251/02 is modified to the extent as indicated above. Thereby the order passed by the lower forum quashing P1 demand notice/bill dated:16..7..2002 is upheld. But the order directing payment of Rs.1000/- as compensation to the complainant is

    setaside. The finding of the lower forum that “claiming water charges for more than six months in a bill is prohibited under the provisions of the Act” is also setaside. Parties to this appeal are directed to suffer their respective cost.

  7. #7
    Unregistered Guest

    Default losing water at Tripunithura, near statue junction

    We have called up water authority office, and went in person also to complain against the wastage of water in the main road near Statue junction. but, of no news.

    Please take necessary action

  8. #8
    Unregistered Guest

    Question A complaint to kozhikode water authority

    Consumer number : KLM-340
    SHAREEF.V
    KIZHAKKINAM CHALIL
    KUNNAMANGALAM
    KOZHIKODE
    mob :9496917606

    ASSISTANT ENGINEER
    W.S.SECTION
    KERALA WATER AUTHORITY
    KOZHIKODE,MALAPARAMBA

    Sir,
    The water connection for my house is not available ,The main pipe is brokened.It is the 10th day after broking.Many times we connected to the malaparamba office.But upto this time they didn't take any action.The water is flowing through the road.For reconnection what i want to do?In my house there are people who is not well and they are depending on this water.

  9. #9
    Unregistered Guest

    Angry pipe leaking in punalur MLA Road

    Sir,
    I am from punalur,kollam.

    Main pipeline (underground) passing through punalur to kundara , exactly in back of vrindavanam hotel MLA road punalur , leaking heavily for the last 20 days. This was brought to the notice of the Chief Engineer’s office (KWA) over his telephone, but still action is not taken to arrest the leakage and to save the precious drinking water. Due to leakage, thousands of literes of water is wasting every day. Nearby the present leakage point, somany times the pipe line was broken, drinking water wasted, drinking water supply was completely stopped and completely damaged the road. KWA may be waiting for another tragedy to take up the matter.
    Hope the above will see by the authorities concerned.

    Regards
    Habeebulla,
    KJB SONS Punalur

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