The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its recent report has slammed Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s (BWSSB) senior management for its lack of understanding of Sajala, a software of billing and collection. In two years, 5.52 lakh monthly bills of 1.09 lakh consumers were not generated by the board, the report says.
The CAG, which audited BWSSB’s reports from 2012-13 to 2016-17, found out that officials’ lack of understanding of the software led to massive leakage of revenue. Sajala was introduced to improve accuracy in bill generation, offer hassle-free service and for better monitoring by the top management. However, the data analysed between January 2014 and December 2016 showed breaks in billing for 1,09,817 consumers, for whom 5,52,611 monthly bills were not generated. The revenue leakage based on minimum monthly meter charges of Rs 20 works out to Rs 1.11 crore, as per the report.
The government, while accepting the non-generation of bills periodically, said the process of ‘pending reading’ would be refined to mandate the raising of short amounts against unbilled periods. Also, it stated that a proposal to limit the non-billing period to two months in unforeseen events was currently under perusal under the new metering policy. However, it was silent on loss of revenue due to non-levying of monthly meter charges for unbilled periods, said the CAG in its report.
The analysis revealed that between July 2016 and March 2017, 35 bills showed the consumption value was negative as opposed to zero or positive. The amount was zero in 5,625 bills pertaining to 2,922 connections though there was water consumption. As many as 4,782 bills of 2,777 consumers contained zero monthly meter charges though the meters were working.
The government had issued orders to waive the principal water bill amount and interest of slum dwellers whose site area didn’t exceed 600 sqft. But CAG in its report said 2,037 consumers living in an area exceeding 600 sqft were not eligible for loan waiver and the outstanding amount stood at Rs 32.6 lakh.
Shockingly, BWSSB has issued 13,809 water bills for the future as well — from 2018 to 2097. A total of 1,523 bills have been generated for the year 2084. Similarly, 51,565 bills showed meters were fixed on 1 January 1900 and 8,369 showed connections were fixed on the same date.
This is an unedited news that first appeared on timesofindia.indiatimes.com