A complaint regarding tampered water meter has arisen in Jayanagar 4th T block. David S R, a resident of the area, noticed the issue of steep hike in his BWSSB’s water bill around three years back.
"The bill would come to Rs.4000 a month sometimes. Whenever I visited the local BWSSB office, I would be sent back saying that the case would be investigated, but nothing was done", he said.
During David’s many visits over the past few years, he alleges that the officials not only demanded bribes, but also said that the pipelines were old and leaking, and hence have to be replaced. "The pipes were changed at the cost of Rs 15,000, but when the problem continued after that too, we checked the water meter and found that it was tampered with," says David.
On complaining to the BWSSB officials in Cauvery Bhavan on K G Road, some senior officials visited David’s house and pulled up the lineman who was suspected of tampering the meter. However, after a short spell of proper bills, the water charges went back to atrociously high rates.
After more failed attempts to alert officials, David approached Muni Sanjeevappa, corporator of Jayanagar East, who has now promised that BWSSB will investigate the matter. Shashi, personal assistant (PA) to the corporator, confirmed to Citizen Matters that his office had checked David’s water bills and found huge discrepancies. "On one month it is Rs 366, the next it is Rs 1800, and then the following month it is Rs 366 again. BWSSB Water Inspector and Assistant Executive Engineer will inspect the case", he says. "If the meter is found to be tampered, a report will be sent to Cauvery Bhavan and the new meter will be sanctioned within 2-3 days", adds Shashi.
Though BWSSB officials were expected to visit the house on September 22, that did not happen.
Here I dont understand the exact meaning of tampering. A meter fixed once in position cannot be tampered with. Tampering can be done before installing and the reading will be of a single pattern (Either high OR low). After installation only the meter can go defective. Hence the use of correct terminology is of great importance to hasten the investigation. The BWSSB will be sleeping over a complaint of TAMPERING, but cannot ignore a defective meter, which will MALFUNCTION.