Janta flat family gets Rs 2- cr water bill


A family which lives in a Janta flat in West Delhi was left speechless after the Delhi Jal Board sent a bill of Rs 2.39 crore for water dues.

Paramjit Singh, a resident of CB block in Hari Nagar, was handed the bill three days ago and told to pay up. He had last received a water bill on December 24, 2011.

Worried, the family began making inquiries. Singh's wife Satvir Kaur told Newsline on Thursday that the matter had finally been sorted out with the DJB.

"They told us that there had been a technical error. The actual outstanding amount was Rs 4,900 which has now been paid. At least 80 per cent of residents in this area have got such faulty," she said. Her next-door neighbour, Manju Aggarwal, has been handed a water bill of Rs 50 lakh.

DJB officials said these were "isolated cases" of computer "errors". The water utility revamped its revenue management system, installed hi-tech meters and generated 17 lakh bills this month. But it turns out that at least two per cent of consumers have received "outrageous" bills that the DJB now attributes to "error in meter reading".

DJB CEO Debashree Mukherjee told Newsline that an internal assessment of the bills generated under the new system has so far helped them track approximately 100 such cases with billing errors.

"We started it as a pilot project to generate 17 lakh bills in the first phase. There was an error with meter reading. There are 2 per cent such cases, we are rectifying these on priority basis. This will not occur in future," Mukherjee said.

The next pilot project to be taken up by the DJB is to generate on-the-spot bills for consumers so that such errors in meter reading are not repeated.

"Since consumers have got cumulative bills for six months this time, we have even allowed payment in instalments. The next cycle will see things more settled and streamlined with bills being generated on a two-monthly basis," Mukherjee said.

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