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.