Chandigarh Administration to pay Rs 10,000 for deficiency in services. For charging meter rental without installing any water meter, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Chandigarh Administration to reverse the illegally charged meter rentals to the complainant, if not done. The forum has directed executive engineer, PH Division No. 3, Chandigarh Administration, UT Secretariat and Superintendent, Water Cash Collection Centre, Public Health Division No3 to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation for deficiency in service, for unfair trade practice and harassment along with Rs 5,000 as litigation expenses.Gulab Singh, a resident of village Behlana, Chandigarh in his complaint stated that he had been issued a water connection by administration for his residence after fulfilling all required formalities. Singh deposited Rs 13,610 in two installments as per the directions. Thereafter, Singh had been honouring the bills as and when raised by the opposite parties without any delay. However it was stated that along with the water bill of September 2016, the opposite parties had issued a notice to the Gulab Singh to arrange the 1/2 water meter at own source and intimate to them, which according to him was not justified. Singh stated that from the date of allotment of new water connection, till last bill, the administration failed to install the water meter in the house and besides charging the water bill on average basis, kept on charging Rs 20 each bill as water meter rentals.Singh visited the office of the opposite parties a number of times with a request to install water meter, but they initially delayed the matter on one pretext or the other and finally, refused to install the same. Opposite Parties in their reply, pleaded that the house of the complainant is outside the red line of the village where no water lines sewer line or any other services have been provided by the Chandigarh Administration. As per the policy of the Chandigarh Administration a bulk connection was sanctioned for the entire street where the house of the complainant is situated and to avoid dispute of quantity of water utilised, the bill was charged on average basis at 80k per litre for two months from all the consumers. The forum, after hearing both sides stated, “The opposite parties have themselves admitted the fact that they are charging meter rental from the complainant’ However, the opposite parties in their written statement have admitted that the meter rentals are being reversed to the complainant, which was illegally charged on account of Software error.
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