The New Indian Express
The online-billing service which could have been of immense help to the
Kerala Water Authority is yet to take off in the district.
It has been three years since the system has been launched in
Thiruvananthapuram by the then Water Resource Minister N K Premachandran
as a pilot project.
Based on its success, it was decided that the system be extended to other parts of the state, especially in Ernakulam district.
According to the KWA authorities, though the higher-ups have assured that they would extend the scheme to Kochi at the earliest, it is still pending.
The officials said the KWA is running short of facilities and staff.
"The KWA does not have enough meter readers. With limited number of staff and increasing demand for water connections, it is not easy to cater to the needs of consumers. For instance, the area which comes under the purview of Kaloor sub-division is comparatively small but it has more number of consumers. Since we do not have spot billing, the staff have to do the work manually. It could have been avoided if this system comes into effect," said the authorities.
The KWA authorities said that a huge increase in the revenue can also be expected with the materialisation of this project.
With online-billing, the monitoring of settling bills becomes an easy task.
"Aluva unit is the major city unit in the entire district with several connections. Kaloor, sub-division alone has over 55,000 connections whereas, Vypeen has over 50,000 connections. With online-billing, the scattered connections can be coordinated effectively," they said.
An official with the KWA in Kochi said the department is not consumer-friendly as it lacks many facilities. "Since two years top officials have been assuring that they would implement the scheme at the earliest. They have completed the laying of electric cables for this purpose nine months ago. But till now, there are no positive signs from their side. When asked about the delaying of the project, sources with the KWA IT wing said that it has completed eighty percent of the arrangements. " We hope that the project can be launched within two months in Kochi," he said.