Keshav Agarwal from Chittaranjan Park, Ved Kumar, a Saket H-block resident and Navin Chand Pandey from Karawal Nagar — who otherwise have nothing common — are bound by a nagging problem.
During the past 4-5 months, they have received inflated water bills and repeated visits to Delhi Jal Board (DJB) office have not helped. “In all so many years of living in Delhi, this has been the worst scenario,” Kumar, 81, said.
The DJB metre reader visited Kumars in March 2011 and then, only this March. Against his average 25 kilo litre monthly consumption, he was randomly charged on ad-hoc basis. “So, my latest bill reflects the backlog,” he said.
As against regular water bills in R500-600 per month range, Pandey’s last bill was R3,500. “No explanation has been given for the additional R1,800. It has not been mentioned under any head,” he complained.
Agarwal’s bill has R11,578.60 as service charge against a total of R19,930. He mentioned another CR Park resident, whose bill stated ‘metre locked’ and yet charged him R22,000. “He approached the DJB officials and the matter was settled at R5,000,” Agarwal, a member of CR Park RWA, claimed.
Across Delhi consumers are facing common problems such as no facility of issuing duplicate bills of previous months; random charging of service tax ranging from 3 per cent to 12 per cent and no system of refund.
Anil Bajpai, president of RWA Federation, East Delhi, said, “If they are charging more, they should ensure regular supply.”
Suggested Rajiv Kakria, Greater Kailash resident, the DJB should abolish metre system and charge as per the plot size and per capita consumption.
But the DJB seems as helpless. There are just 484 meter readers against 19.2 lakh meters in the city, hence the tardy metre reading process. Balwan Singh Jaglan, DJB’s director (revenue), “The current system of bill collection is manual. Counter foils for bills paid at the collection centres reach headquarters after a time lag.”
The DJB is soon shifting to Revenue Management System, which would rectify errors such as paid amount being added to the next bill, he said adding, “We will shift gradually to automatic metre reading and on-line payment too.”