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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