On-line water bill payment fails to take off in city

9:54 AM, Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
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mangaloreMangaluru: Water consumers in the city have not been able to pay bills on-line even eight months after Mangaluru City Corporation opened 10 services for consumers on-line.

Payment of water bills was among the 10 on-line services launched by the corporation in November last year. Incidentally, on-line water bill payment did not take off at all. While announcing the launch of the services in the council last year, corporation Commissioner Mohammed Nazir stated that the services covered on-line were those for whom there was a demand.

Aditya V., a consumer from Gorigudda, said that when the corporation announced the launch of on-line services he was happy that he could save time, as it eliminated the need for standing in queues in banks and at MangaloreOne centres. But when he logged on to the portal of the corporation, it turned out to be a damp squib. He said that the civic body did not issue water bills for three months from April this year.

After he received his bill for March, the latest bill he was sent was a week ago. As the on-line system was not working, he went to two banks, one in Valencia and the other in Gorigudda, for making payment. But the banks refused to receive payment stating that they have no instruction to receive such bills. They were among the four banks mentioned in the bill where consumers can make payments. Finally, he had to remit the bill at the MangaloreOne centre at Lalbagh.

A senior official in the water supply section of the civic body who did not want his name to be mentioned blamed it on issues with e-Sweekruthi software of the government to receive bills on-line. He said that as the issues have not been addressed fully, the corporation has not been able to receive amounts on-line. Once the issues are solved by the Municipal Reforms Cell, bills can be accepted through 13 banks, he said.

The official said that now Canara Bank has opened a counter in the basement of the corporation building to receive bills. Payments can be made in the Corporation Bank branch in the corporation building, in addition to the MangaloreOne centres. The corporation was in talks with a bank to utilise the services of the latter’s 75 branches. However, it is yet to be finalised.

He said that there was delay in issuing bills for three months as the corporation stopped issuing bills through an outsourced agency from April. Now, the corporation was issuing bills through its 60 multi-purpose workers in 60 wards. Of the 92,000 property identified in a recent survey, bills have been issued to 36,000 consumers till Saturday.

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