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KARACHI, July 14: The KWSB will soon be issuing monthly water and sewerage charges bills to its over 1.4 million consumers from July discarding old practice of annual billing system,

The bills, to be issued and collected on monthly basis from the current month, would also include conservancy charges and fire tax.

Unlike other utility organisations, such as KESC, PTCL and SSGC, the KWSB is reportedly actively considering its finance department’s proposal of passing the burden of bank service charges which comes to Rs10 per month per bill to its consumers.

However, with a view to facilitating the consumers, the KWSB has designated as many 400 branches of five banks where consumers can deposit their water bills.

Prior to this, only one bank with 68 braches was authorised to collect these bills. The banks with which the KWSB has now made arrangements of collecting its bills from its consumers include United Bank, Allied Bank, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, My Bank and the NBP’s Awami Markaz branch.

Commenting on the proposal of charging bank service charges, which if approved by the higher authorities, will have to be paid by consumers, experts said the KWSB would be required to invite public opinion or objections with regard to its proposal before giving it a final shape.

“In fact, under the Sindh Local Council Imposition of Tax Rules-2002, the KWSB is required to get its proposal approved from the City Council and the council before according an approval to the proposal would have to form a committee for inviting public opinion on the issue through the press,” they opined.Elaborating, they said the consumers residing in 60 square yards houses would be the worst sufferers as they would be required to pay additional Rs120 per year under the head of bank service charges against their annual water charges bill which will be a little over Rs312.

Referring to the KWSB’s decision of switching over to monthly billing system from annual billing system, sources in the KWSB said the decision is aimed at saving consumers from depositing hefty annual water and sewerage charges bills in lump sum.

“In fact, with the switching over to monthly billing system, the consumers will heave a sigh of relief as it will be more easier for them to clear their bills every month,” the sources said, adding under the new system the KWSB would also be able to improve its financial position.

TESTING LAB: The mobile meter testing laboratory of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) meant for measuring the discharge and flow of water from supply lines has started its function from Friday, adds PPI.

KWSB Managing Director Brig Iftikhar Haider inaugurated the laboratory here at the water meter division. The testing laboratory is equipped with the latest meter testing equipment and ultrasonic device which can measure the flow of water from half inch to 80 inch diameter pipelines.

This laboratory would help to check big meters of water supply, discharge and flow of water at site. This would also help redress the complaints of excessive billing.

Chief Engineer-II Najam Alam Siddiqui, Deputy Project Manager Tameer Karachi Programme Farrukh Naeem and other officials of the KWSB were also present on the occasion.