IPH Dept issues water bills after 3 yrs

SOLAN: Facing acute shortage of field staff, the Irrigation and Public Health(IPH) Department has disbursed bills to residents in the rural area of Kasauli after three years.

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 8

Facing acute shortage of field staff, the Irrigation and Public Health(IPH) Department has disbursed bills to residents in the rural area of Kasauli after three years.

Residents got a rude shock when they received water bills worth thousands for the period of September 2016 to March 2019.

Though the IPH staff is supposed to disburse bills after every six months, no bills had been provided to the rural consumers since 2016. As rural consumers are billed on a flat basis, there is no meter reading involved, which could delay the distribution of bills. The incident has exposed the laxity of the field staff, residents alleged.

Sources said this delay of three years has also caused loss of revenue to the department as people who resided as tenants might have moved to other places in this duration. It was surprising that though the bills were duly audited on an annual basis, the senior officials failed to detect this laxity, which the field staff said was on account of staff shortage.

Notably, the shortage of field staff was also causing hardships in the smooth supply of water and one person was attending to several schemes. The staff, therefore, failed to distribute water on a daily basis and residents living in the precincts of Kasauli received water after three days round the year. Though this arrangement has been going on for years now, no one has bothered to address the problem.

Sanjeev Kaul, Superintending Engineer, IPH, said it was surprising to note that water bills had been distributed after three years as against the norm of six months. He said he would inquire into it. A request would be sent to the state government to depute more field staff through outsourcing to ensure smooth distribution of water in the area. Though tenders for outsourcing staff were being invited for the old schemes, a request for more staff would be taken up with the state government, he added.

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