The Noida authority's efforts to create an online system to help make bill payments and recover dues conveniently have instead created problems for thousands of residents.
While some residents have got inflated bills – HT has been highlighting the problem ever since the process of digitisation began a couple of months ago – even those who were regular with their bill payment are being told to pay all over again.
"This is the result of lack of coordination between banks, where residents make payments, and the Noida authority. People have made payments but the authority still sends bills," said NP Singh, president of the federation of Noida residents welfare associations (FONRWA).
The RWAs have decided to meet Noida authority chief executive officer Sanjeev Saran on Thursday to request him to get all the incorrect water bills updated.
Some residents said they have got fresh bills despite paying bills regularly. "Three-four families in my neighbourhood have got water bills worth thousands of rupees. They are shocked because they have already paid their bills," said Sunil Sethi of sector 31 RWA.
In view of some households getting bills accumulated over the last several years, the authority has offered a waiver of up to 35%. Residents can also go to correction centres in case of inflated bills or contact officials whose numbers are mentioned in notices.
The authority also assured that all households will have water meters in six months. A private discom will be outsourced work for the purpose. To start with, residents with outstanding bills have been asked to clear the backlog to fund the gradual launch of the new system.
The current annual revenue of the water department is Rs 18 crore with 40% of the consumers being defaulters. The authority intends to recover Rs 20 crore through schemes launched for outstanding bills. The authority has put details of its all 80,000 consumers on its website. The water department has issued notices/ bills to about 48,000 defaulters in various categories to clear backlog.
"We issue water bills to our consumers annually and generate Rs 16-Rs 18 crore each year. Since we have recently digitised account details of all our 80,000 consumers, we have issued bills/notices to the defaulters again," said Vijay Kumar Yadav, deputy chief executive officer (DCEO), Noida authority.