MCC not to collect penalty if water meter is faulty

Council resolves not to collect penalty if water meter is faulty

In the Council meeting, Mayor Premananda Shetty said a double penalty was levied on the consumers who failed to get the meter rectified

Representative image. Credit: iStock Images

The Council of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has resolved not to collect penalty from consumers with defunct water meters. Instead, it was decided that consumers should pay an average of the minimum for the period when the water meter had stopped working.

In the Council meeting, Mayor Premananda Shetty said a double penalty was levied on the consumers who failed to get the meter rectified even after receiving the notice. As a result, consumers were getting water bills to the tune of Rs 6,000 and more. The MCC after discussions decided to collect a minimum average water tariff during the time the meter stopped functioning as per the Karnataka Municipalities Act Section 428. If the water meter failed to function even after its repair, then the officer in charge should fix a minimum charge while issuing the bill.

Reduce the tariff

The Opposition Congress Corporators urged MCC to reduce the water tariff, which was increased by the administrator. The monthly minimum charge for 24,000 litres of water was just Rs 65 in the past. After revision, it is Rs 56 per month for 8,000 litres. Accordingly, people are forced to pay Rs 168 per month for 24,000 litres of water. Though MCC had passed a  resolution to reduce the tariff, no steps had been taken in that regard, Corporators Abdul Rauf, Lancelot Pinto and A C Vinayraj charged.

“The council’s resolution to reduce tariff was sent to the government for approval. But no steps had been taken despite BJP administration having three engines,” ridiculed Opposition Leader Vinayraj. He urged the Mayor to take a delegation to the government and impress them on reducing water tariff in order to help consumers reeling under crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

MCC Commissioner Akshay Sridhar said that the council’s resolution to reduce the tariff was sent to the government in October 2020 for approval. But the government in its reply in May clarified that the Council cannot take a decision on reducing the tariff. Mayor Premananda Shetty said the city corporation will seek the government nod to reduce the water tariff.

Meeting with traffic cops 

When members raised the issue of parking, Mayor said that a meeting with traffic police will be convened next week to discuss traffic and parking woes in the city. The corporators expressed displeasure for failing to take up drive against petty shops encroaching on the footpath in the city. The MCC commissioner said that a special vehicle, with all required equipment, will carry out the drive to clear encroachments on footpaths.

The drive will be taken up from Monday, he added.

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