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BWSSB ordered to compensate for mental harassment

A consumer court has directed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to pay Rs 7,000 as compensation for mental harassment and litigation charges to one of the consumers.

The court also directed to waive off the interest on the pending water bill and levy interest only

for months after the complaint was filed.The complainant, A Chandrashekharan, a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar approached the court contending that the BWSSB had imposed an outstanding amount of Rs 18,565 as on September 2016.

The complainant said he has been paying water bills through ECS (electronic clearance

service) for the past 15 years, but the BWSSB raised an outstanding bill.The complainant paid the amount after protest.

Later, the BWSSB in its defence said the complainant’s ECS payment was rejected and the

complainant has not verified with his bank if the amount was being debited every time the bill

was raised.

Further, the BWSSB contended the complainant had used Cauvery water for construction

purposes and the water supply was partly diverted to commercial use and accordingly

commercial tariff was demanded.

Though the complainant argued that he had not used Cauvery water for construction activity

and has bought water from tankers, the BWSSB said the complainant did not produce any bill

to show the water used was from private tankers.

During the course of the hearing, it was found that the complainant’s arrears with interest as on October 2018 came up to Rs 37,270. Moreover, the Reserve Bank of India had revised its guidelines on electronic clearance service transfers. The complainant’s ECS was discontinued and it had to be revived after the complainant made a visit to the bank.

The First Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum headed by president H R Srinivas and member D Suresh passed an order on March 11, stating the BWSSB cannot see the complainant as a defaulter. “When the BWSSB has accepted the payment through ECS all along till December 2012, it cannot shirk responsibility without informing the change of mode of ECS due to the guidelines of the bank and RBI,” the order said.

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