Water bill sent by SMS should have water consumption data: SHRC


The Kerala State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has asked the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) to include water consumption data in water bills issued via SMS.

The consumers have a right to data regarding their water consumption. SMS bills generated by the KWA should carry both previous and current meter reading data, commission chairman Antony Dominic said in an order.

If that was not possible, the bill should be issued to the consumer on the spot, the order said.

The commission’s direction came at a time when the KWA was forced to resume spot billing—where the meter reader hands over the paper bill after taking the reading—after the SMS system sparked complaints.

Six months ago, KWA had stopped spot billing in favour of the SMS mode. But the system had given rise to numerous complaints prompting the Water Resources Department to direct the KWA to resume spot billing.

KWA issued orders on April 22 stating its intention to use both spot billing and the SMS system.

The Human Rights Commission noted that the KWA had the responsibility to inform the consumer about consumption data. Denying this right was tantamount to a human rights violation.

The commission’s order came on a complaint filed by human rights activist Ragam Rahim.

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