MCU to move court against 'illegal' water meters

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Aizawl, May 4 (UNI) The Mizoram Consumers' Union has threatened to move court if the state government failed to take back the ''illegal'' water meters imposed on consumers.

MCU president P Lalupa today told UNI that they were planning to discuss the matter once again with the Chief Minister Zoramthanga and that would be followed by a 'legal battle' if there is no positive response from the government.

He stated that they had earlier requested the government to recall the water meters but to no avail.

He pointed out that no other NE state has imposed the water meter system for they can not afford it.

''Water meter system had not been introduced even in those states, where they have abundant supply of water,'' he said.

''According to the Standard of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and Rules 1987, ''there must be continuous flow of water in the pipe, if water meter is to be installed'','' MCU president stated.

Since water supply in Aizawl can not afford continuous flow of water, imposition of meter system is illegal, he said adding that air pressure due to non continuous flow of water resulted in a number of inaccurate meter readings.

According to the state government order, in case of damage or loss of the water meters, the consumers have to pay a fine of Rs 200, which has also been criticised by the union.

The MCU further alleged that the water meters had been supplied to the government by a fictitious firm. The firm has been registered under the name of PS Enterprise, whose proprietor was P S Thanga of Chanmari, Aizawl, he said.

''When investigated, there was no such enterprise or proprietor within Chanmari locality here,'' said MCU vice president Bualhranga and added, ''The documents mentioning the name of the supplier and water meters were hence found to be invalid and we had to intervene.

He said that about Rs 316 lakh had been spent for buying more than 35,000 water meters and so far only about 22,000 water meters have been installed in Aizawl.

UNI ZS LL KK AS1716

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