Consumers Of Srinagar, Jammu Can Shortly Pay Water Bills Online

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JAMMU — The consumers can pay the water bills online as the Pub­lic Health Engineering (PHE) de­partment will launch the facility shortly. Chief Executive Officer, ERA/JTFRP, J&K, Dr Raghav Langer (IAS), chaired a presentation cum workshop for launching of the pilot project for water billing and online payment system in PHE department. The project for de­velopment, customization, com­missioning and 5 years mainte­nance of web based software for electronic billing and collection system for Jammu and Srinagar “cities has been undertaken” by the ERA under JKUSDIP funded by the Asian Development Bank.

The presentation was attended by Chief Engineer PHED Ashok Gandotra, Director ERA Abdul Majid Shabnam and other senior officers of ERA and PHE depart­ment. The representative of the contractor M/S BCITS, while giv­ing a demonstration “explained different parameter of the soft­ware developed for online bill­ing including different payment options through online banking, mobile app and spot billing.”

Presenting his view point CEO ERA said that development of online water billing system is a major step in the State towards much needed reforms in water sector, an official spokesman said Valley Media Service in a state­ment. It was further observed by CEO ERA that the billing soft­ware developed by the contrac­tor needs some refinement and more feature such as providing for online bill to the consumer on his registered e-mail, setting of time lines for redressal of griev­ances, provision for payment through mobile POS machine by the consumer at his door step, to make it more effective and consumer friendly. CEO ERA also emphasized that volumetric wa­ter tariff needs to be fixed by the State Water Resources Authority (SWRRA) in light of the metering and online water billing, initiated by J&K ERA for PHED. Further, CEO emphasized that billing soft­ware should be compatible with Hand Held Units (HHUs) of AMR water meters installed by ERA in some areas in Jammu city so that readings of the water meters are registered directly online. Dr. Langer also advised PHED to en­sure the dedicated team of opera­tors at each Sub-Division level to ensure the effective implementa­tion of the billing system. Chief Engineer PHED assured CEO ERA that a dedicated team of opera­tors, who have been trained by the ERA contractor, are already in place and wherever deficien­cies are felt the same shall be addressed on priority to ensure smooth function of system. CEO ERA also instructed the repre­sentative of J&K Bank to ensure payment of the water bills by the consumers at any provincial branch of J&K Bank, he said.

Finally, it was decided that the online billing system of SITLEE sub-division shall be started im­mediately on pilot bases and after its successful implementation, it shall be taken up in other sub-di­vision of Jammu and Srinagar Cit­ies. Earlier in the day Dr. Langer, accompanied by senior officers of PHE and ERA visited the PHE at SITLEE and took stock of vari­ous installation including intake, filtration plant and CPS. CEO was informed by S.E. PHE Mechanical Ajay Singh Wazir that about 16 MGD of portable water is sup­plied from SITLEE to Jammu city through Lohar and Manda reser­voir. CEO also inspected the wa­ter testing laboratory of PHE and was apprised about different tests being carried out on the daily ba­sis to monitor the water quality. Dr. Langer impressed upon PHE authorities to take steps for en­suring end-to-end solution from generation upto distribution with water metering and volumetric tariff and O&M provision in line with the latest norms and guide­lines, he further added.

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