The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) is set to reintroduce spot billing which was discontinued in favour of an online mechanism for generating water bills.
Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine has instructed the KWA to resume spot billing, prompted reportedly by complaints regarding the new system under which consumers are informed about their bill details via SMS.
Earlier, the bills were generated and issued on the spot after the KWA staff took the reading from the water meters. In January, this practice was discontinued in favour of a system where the bills are issued via SMS after the reading is taken. However, there were complaints on the part of some consumers that this mechanism was erratic and they did not get their bills on time, leaving them vulnerable to disconnection.
According to Mr. Augustine's office, both spot billing and the SMS mechanism will be employed until the consumers get accustomed to the online option. The KWA had stopped the practice of issuing bills on the spot in January this year as part of migrating its services fully on to digital platforms as part of a wider State government initiative.
Instead, once the reading is taken, the details are fed into the KWA computer system first and the bill is then sent to the consumer via SMS. The system was tried out in two KWA divisions in Thiruvananthapuram from August 2021 and introduced State-wide in January 2022.