Citizens' Mail

Utility bills gone electric

Consumers of water and electricity have to pay their utility bills to the respective agencies i.e; Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and The National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) on a monthly basis. The procedure that is being followed by these two agencies to submit the bills to the consumers seems to be a very inefficient one.

The meter readers of these two agencies visit each consumer unit, i.e; residence or business place, on a certain date in every month and submit the bills after reading the meters and calculation of the fees.

I have found in so many times that these meter readers have visited on days that we were not in the house and have submitted a bill calculated on the basis of average monthly usage of the last few months.

These meter readers also must be having a very hard time since they have to go to each and every house/business place and ask the owners of them to open the gate for them to come in to read the meters. In some places the meters are located in places where access is not easy and as such they have to undergo lot of difficulties. Instances have also been reported by some meter readers that they have been bitten by the dogs that are being reared by the house owners.

Wouldn’t it be much more efficient and convenient if consumers themselves read the meter at the end of every month and visit the office of the CEB or NWSDB and report to them and pay the bills? The meters can be checked by the officers of the respective agencies at the end of every year to check whether meter reading by the consumers have been correct. This will also save the money that is being spent by these agencies as salaries to meter readers which I guess to be a quite a huge amount.

Bandurathna Hettiarachchi 


There are 2 Comments

Year in and Year out the city of Colombo faces water flooding when heavy rain comes following a drought. Therefore this situation exemplifies the lackadaisical attitude of the Colombo Municipal Council and the Ministry of local Government. Both these institutions are in deep slumber resulting in untold misery to the tax payer. We have been told that the sewerage system is over 100 years old. If that is the case why has a program not been initiated to rehabilitate the system in stages over the several years? On Wednesday we witnessed the flooding of several trunk roads and falling of large trees in the city which disrupted life of the Tax Paying citizens. The falling of large trees adding to the misery. This is not an accidental situation but a situation that epitomizes mismanagement and slumbering on the job by both institutions. The legislators and the employees are collectively responsible and should therefore be answerable to the Tax Payer. This is more so because the Municipal rates and taxes have been increased thus making it mandatory for the institutions to perform the job and not find excuses. People are not interested in theories - they need action. If the legislators and their employees cannot deliver the goods they should be replaced by efficient people. In the dry season action should have been taken to clean the drains and dredge the canals to facilitate the flow of water. The large old trees on the roadside duly pruned and stabilized in order to avoid collapse due to extra weight caused by heavy down falls. If these institutions do their routine duty void of political meddling it would, in the long term also result in lower overall cost for everyone. The mismanagement and political interference resulting in the collapse of the Meetotamulla Garbage Dump is an excellent lesson

The suggestion that the consmer reads his own bill is an absurd one. How many people know how to read a KW Meter?

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